Dial the number 845 384 2445 on your cell phone. It’s free. You are offered a short poem. This is not a new idea. Rather it’s a nice way to share some humanity. Each month a poet or songwriter will offer a short poem or lyric. The number may change but the service will remain the same. Phillip X Levine is featured until the end of December, 2018.
About Phillip X Levine’s Poem “Winter Trees”
“Winter Trees” is an old poem. I wrote it while standing on Riverside Drive in NYC near my last apartment. I had just bought my place up in West Saugerties and I was thinking how good I felt about things: my new place, winter, how many more trees I would soon get to know.
Dial-A-Poem is a phone-based service started in 1968 by poet John Giorno after a phone conversation with his friend William Burroughs. Fifteen phone lines were connected to individual answering machines; anyone could phone Giorno Poetry Systems and listen for free to a poem offered from various live recordings.
The venture was a success from 1969 on, and the poems dealt with numerous social issues such as the Vietnam War and the sexual revolution. Giorno claimed the service later influenced the creation of other information services over the telephone, such as banking, sports, and investing.