Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Where the month has gone (a play in 3 excuses)

Wow. You blink and it's two weeks later. How does THAT happen? Anyway, here's what's been going on.

Well, work's been busy, but I know that none of you, my six loyal readers, are here to read about that.

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Last week I presented a lunchtime poetry seminar to the Seniors group at my church. I had read about LifeVerse and proposed a talk to the group a few months ago, but right up to the night before, I wasn't entirely sure I was going to do. I learned that the idea of a writing workshop wasn't going to be appealing the group, so I set out to assemble a short program on the theme of "What Poetry Can Deliver": an assortment of unusual metaphors, a love poem someone who doesn't live with poetry might be surprised to by, and since it was a church group, at least one prayer poem. Aside from a few of my own poems, here's what I wound up presenting:

"November", Billy Collins (timely)
"Not Rose Petals", BJ Ward (a love poem with an unusual metaphor)
"Nonsense Song", W.H. Auden (a little fun in the form of a love poem)
"Fork", Charles Simic (poems can be about anything)
"Prayer", Joe Weil (prayer poem)
"Joy is the Grace we Say to God", Ray Bradbury (prayer poem)

I did go in expecting that there wouldn't be many poetry fans in the audience, and I debated presenting more classic work, but opted in the end to present work I loved and trust that my enthusiasm and the quality of the work would carry the day. Turned out to be a good call.

Should I have been surprised at the reaction? At one lady approaching me at the end for a copy of Joe Weil's poem? Or someone asking for copies of my own work? Or someone asking where she could find more of BJ Ward's work? I suppose not. And yet I was.

* * *

This week, despite a case of pink eye that's been wandering my house trying to catch me, I was able to slip out to attend a professional society meeting (always refreshing) and to sit in on a great reading by John Trause, part of a new series hosted by Rick Mullin at Tasty Coco in Caldwell. John is equal parts poet, entertainer, and historian (or is that redundant?), and you can get a good feel for the event over at Rick's place.

Would have been enough just to hear John, but it was also a terrific open, my own effort a kindergarten contribution to a grad school seminar. Great stuff.

* * *

So that's the last couple. Next up is finding a new recipe for Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving and getting ready to mash the annual turnip.

And other things, maybe.

2 comments:

Matthew Thorburn said...

Sounds like you put together a great program for the seniors, David. I have a friend in Ithaca who leads a writing group at a seniors' center who says they can be a tough (but also rewarding) group to work with!

David V said...

I'd love to hear more about that senior's writing group. I'd been looking at the LifeVerse program (Atlanta?), and I'm always after my more-tenured friends to take up music, so why not poetry!

Thanks for stopping by!