Friday, May 28, 2010

Triple Treat Poetry Night

I heard poetry from 5:00 until about 8:30 last night -- and not all poetry, some singing as well. It began with an annual "coffee house" for Sturgis Charter school students. Bright and shiny young people reading much too softly and shyly, some singing a little. Some of the teachers read poetry, one sang Scottish songs. A small group, including myself, read poems written by a former teacher who started poetry group of which I was a member. She died of cancer last autumn so this was a memorial tribute. She was such a lovely woman and I met her exactly a year ago and hoped it would be a long lasting friendship. Sad.

When the students' portion was over at 7:00 the monthly open mike poetry reading began, some 13 people, mostly regulars of the event read, some well, some not so well, but with assurance the kids didn't have. Then the treat of the evening, a working professional poet, Lisa Starr, poet laureate of Rhode Island read. The progression of assurance, craft, and pleasure was complete. She is a very talented woman, at ease reading her poetry and doing so very well. They were thoughtful, layered but accessible poems, very much a voice of her own, a very likable persona.

Perhaps this was too much poetry in one evening -- it was too much frustration with people not using mikes correctly resulting in missed lines and words and in some cases whole poems. But it was a lovely evening. Someone had added little irises in vases to the table and on a table overladen with brownies and other sweets was a vase of white peonies -- my favorite flower. All full, perfect, lush and with that tangy fresh scent. I buried my face in them and breathed.

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