I rarely get asked to write commemorative poems, but when I do I feel like I’m connecting to ancient traditions, to times when the bard’s song was a monument as important as any statuary. There’s also an interesting challenge in pleasing a specific audience rather than the imaginary, amorphous readers or listeners that I hope to please when composing in general. Part of the challenge is making something that I am pleased with artistically while also staying true to the event at hand.
This week I finished writing and read a poem for a colleague’s retirement. Even though she’s been an art teacher for thirty years, she has more poems committed to memory than I do. I’ve heard her recite from Chaucer, Browning, Coleridge, and Whitman. She’s been supportive of my writing and has expressed to me something like, “Poetry is the height of human expression.” So, yeah, no pressure. …
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I like red peppers and Jan Švankmajer movies.
1. Current Listening: Lots of soul from Muscle Shoals
2. Current Viewing: A Hard Day's Night (1964).
3. Current Reading: H.G. Wells: In the Days of the Comet