Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Luncheon Session Considers Uses of History

We held a seventh session on Thursday, June 6, at Graffiti's Bistro in Greensboro. We enjoyed lunch together as well as poems by Don Chiasson and Adam Zagajewski on "the uses of history." Martha's poem "Comes the Dawn" provided a strong complement to Zagajewski's poem about the documentary Shoah.

Our annual Shepherd's Center Poetry Group online anthology will appear again this year, most likely in September or October.

I recently attended a reading by Sharon Olds, a poet whose work we have enjoyed in the past ("I Go Back to 1937" and others) and found her a compelling reader as well as a very gracious person. We will read more of her work in the Winter 2014 term. 

Below are some books on poets and the craft of poetry which you may find of interest:

Jane Hirschfield, Nine Gates
Davidson and Fraser, Writing Poetry: Creative and Critical Approaches (2009)
Ted Kooser, The Poetry Home Repair Manual (2007)
Bill Moyers, Fooling with Words

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Unfolding, Winding Up

In our sixth session on May 30 Carl Dennis asked if there is a gradual growth of consciousness, an unfolding of the spirit, even as we consider the loss of a friend or painting the porch. The answer seems to be more hopeful than one might expect: Seasons repeat themselves, but the tree/Shading the yard keeps growing.

Ciaran Carson's terse poem "The Tag" admitted of widely differing interpretations, which, of course, is part of the fun of poetry. It's not out of the question that someone is just home from the hospital and will get well, but I think Mary's suggestion is the more likely explanation and invite you to check out the following background information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1981_Irish_hunger_strike

One other thought on this poem: the letters D.O.B. might also make you think of D.O.A.

For those who have signed up, we will gather at Graffiti's Bistro on Pisgah Church Rd., just east of N. Elm St., at 12:00 noon. In the poem by Adam Zagajewski, Shoah refers to a nine-hour television documentary on the Holocaust, produced in 1985.