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Traveling Oklahoma: Poetry museum in Locust Grove

Shaun & Burt channel the spirits of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. (Clemmer/KTUL){ }{p}{/p}
Shaun & Burt channel the spirits of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. (Clemmer/KTUL)

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A poet in Locust Grove has created a unique environment to give people a one-of-a-kind experience. You're guaranteed to look at poetry in a whole new light after a visit.

Welcome to ROMP, the Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry in Locust Grove, founded by poet Shaun Perkins.

"The mission of the museum is to allow people to have an experience of poetry, and it is an old fashioned experience so that you really do feel it," she said.

For example, they have a cut-out display of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson where you can channel your inner poet once you put your face through the holes.

"I'm nobody, are you nobody, too? Then there's a pair of us don't tell, they banish us you know, how dreary to be somebody, how ignoble like a frog to tell your name the livelong day to an admiring bog, Emily Dickinson," said Shaun.

"Your poetry is quite good, as I hear, mine, I just try to rhyme, oh dear," countered Burt.

"My favorite definition of what is a good poem is what Emily Dickinson said, she said, 'You know it is a poem when you're reading and you feel like the top of your head is coming off,'" she said.

The museum also has a lovely walking path through a gorgeous field with poems lining the trail. But beware of the poison ivy, or just use it as inspiration for a poem.

"Oh, poison ivy, you beckon me to touch, but I know if I do, I will regret it so much. I have been warned of your presence by our fine fair host Shaun, she said, 'Don't touch it! Watch out! It springs forth from the lawn!'" said Burt.

To keep things fresh, the museum has annual themes.

"So, the exhibit this year is, 'In the Bones,' and it's all about bones. All these things that make us, that hold us together," said Perkins.

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"I think there's been a real revival of poetry in the last few years. A lot more people are reading it, doing poetry events," said Perkins.

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