Auld Lang Syne

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Post Marathon Wrap

Yesterday was an amazing day for poetry. I accomplished my "marathon" reading at our library: 8 hours nonstop. I was fortunate to have great support by the library who put up signs, allowed me to inhabit the fireplace room (reading room) and generally direct people to me. There were requests for specific poems to be read by random visitors to the library, including two young girls (probably aged 10 or 11) who brought me poetry books and asked for specific poems. I also met a woman who brought me the works of Anna Emma Coughlin to read. This poet (Coughlin) was a beloved teacher in Rockland (Maine) in the 20s and 30s. Her poems are lovely. Our local high school principal sent a student emissary to deliver a book of poetry by his mother (the principal's mother). Her poems are great and I can't wait to meet her. Another person (thanks Tessie) requested I read the traditional waiting for Santa story/poem (The Night Before Christmas). It was fun to do that. All in all, it was a great day for poetry and for Rockland. I must thank too the graciousness of Dagney Ernest who reported on the story of my marathon (Going Long on he Shortest Day) in the local papers. She is very supportive of what I am doing as Poet Laureate. Thanks, Dagney for coming on your day off to do the photo shoot at the library!


At 930, the librarian rang a little bell for a moment of silence for the victims of the horrid tragic shootings in CT. I observed that silence and read in a barely discernible whisper. Immediately afterward, I read aloud those two poems which were written specifically about the shootings, one by me (Lessons From First Grade) and another by our previous Poet Laureate, Kendall Merriam (Agony: a Prayer for the Children, Parents, Teachers).

What about bathroom breaks? you may ask. I was fortunate to have people spell me for that necessity. They had to read in my place while I handled the situation. I had a lobster roll for lunch brought in by my husband (who stayed most of the day and hauled in and out my bags of books and shoes - 5 pairs of sparkly shoes in black, silver, and purple). Another person (thanks Margie!) brought me chocolate-dipped strawberries as a treat and my neighbor brought me throat drops to keep my mouth moist. I never did lose my voice! I was definitely a little raspy by 430 but...

I might mention here, in keeping with the contemporary scene, that I read using multiple methods: from printed papers, from hand-written papers, from books, and from my iPad. Here is s short list of poets I read:

Dana Gioia, BH Fairchild, Seamus Heaney, Millay, Bishop, Michael Dennis Browne, Jennifer MacPherson, Elizabeth Garber, Jacob Fricke, Elizabeth Tibbetts, Larry Kramer, Kristin Lindquist, Auden, Plath, Elizabeth Barrett-Browning, Kathleen Ellis, Gayle Portnow, Wendy Rapaport, and many many many more. I discovered new poems by some of these, and enjoyed returning to poems I have long loved. I began and ended the day with sonnets. Seems only right.

When I got home my hubby made dinner and I retired early. What a good night's sleep I got!

So what is next for this Action Figure Poet Laureate?

I hereby declare January to be RAP Month in Rockland and beyond...

no! not THAT kind of RAP... I am referring to Random Acts of Poetry. I will start things by delivering a "money poem" to local banks on January 2nd when they re-open after the holidays. I encourage poets and lovers of poetry to accomplish some random acts throughout January and to report to me the who what where and when of it. I'll post the "acts" here on my blog in early February.

Also, I invite poets and lovers to an upcoming event in February (exact date and place and time TBA): a Sweetheart Poetry Tea. Poets and lovers will read poems of love and devotion to and about their sweethearts. Valentine cookies and tea will be served and the mood will be romantic. This will be a way to focus on love in a world so seemingly over-focused on everything else.

So, watch FB and this blogspot and my author page: for details.

That's it for now... time to decorate the Christmas tree and so some wRAPping.

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