There aren't many cultural events in the small Vermont town I'm living in. Unless you count park juggling. So when I saw a postcard announcing a poetry reading at the library, I grabbed my bag and took the short walk to the little town library.
A small group of people slowly gathered in the small children's room. As we waited for the poets to take their seats, I ran my fingers across the spines of beautifully illustrated children's stories, and thicker spines of Young Adult Fiction series featuring dragons, lost worlds, young adventurers, and mysteries. A twinge of nostalgia pressed into my ribcage.
Then there was the reading. Two poets, a married couple as it turns out, swapped back and forth. There are few things I find so delicious as listening to a poet read his/her own work. I wanted to crawl into their laps, have them stroke my hair with their words - stories of the lake, of mothers and fathers, of dying, of a kidnapping, of hearth, of broken glass and a bleeding mouth, of frogs and goldfish, of yearnings and findings, love and loss.
When asked about the technical aspects of writing poetry, Angela Patten talked about the love of language, the romance, and how poetry -- good poetry -- can say so much with so little. Indeed. The experience, then, of the listener, must be one of focus with an unclenched mind. One must let the words move straight from the ear canal to the chest, letting them gather and dance there. One must be prepared for the inevitable impact, or the sigh -- the compression or the release.
This week's prompt is taken from the poem, "Not the Coat", found in Kin by Daniel Lusk: