Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Seredipity at The Bookstore

Remember that little bookstore, The Bookstore, I walked to in the rain while I was in Lenox? Well, I didn't tell you what happened there, did I?

A little bit of serendipity. A little bit of the world telling me I was right where I needed to be, that I wasn't a fool for attending a writing workshop after all. I think Jack was smiling at me that day. Why, you ask?

While browsing through the poetry section in this bookstore, I noticed a small cardboard box in a chair, to the left of the bookshelf. There were dozens of old Poetry issues inside. The sign on the box read, "Old Poetry Issues. $2.50 each. Take a few."

I don't know why I did, but I reached right into the middle of the stack and pulled out this issue:

Poetry, December 1971 issue, $1.25
Then, I opened the issue up to the Table of Contents only to find Jack Myers listed inside. What a treat! I took the issue straight to the counter to buy it. My walk back to Brook Farm Inn was a nostalgic one, as I thought of certain lectures and meetings with Jack about poetry and life in general.

A great lineup, don't you think?

Once back to my room, I poured a glass of wine and fell into a chair with my new prize. I read Jack's poems over and over again, then turned to the Contributor's Notes where I read:
"Jack Myers published his first collection of poems, Black Sun Abraxas, last year with Halcyone Press." There was an asterisk by his name indicating that this was his first appearance in Poetry. 

At the time of this publication, that meant he was only 30 years old. Incredible. 

Even in the afterlife, Jack has his way of pushing me along in my writing. I only wish I could thank him for all he did then, and all he continues to do now.

I hope you read his poems from this issue. (A personal favorite of mine is "We Never Talk.")


I'd love to hear about a particular serendipitous moment in your life or a moment where everything you've been working toward has been affirmed.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Verse that is Free

Montmartre by John Althouse Cohen via Flickr

While reading A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver, the following lines from the chapter "Verse that is Free" about the evolution of free verse poetry really struck me:

"Now a line was needed that would sound and feel not like formal speech but like conversation. What was needed was a line which, when read, would feel as spontaneous, as true to the moment, as talk in the street, or talk between friends in one's own house."

Oliver concludes this section by saying, "The poem was no longer a lecture, it was time spent with a friend."

I then picked up the new issue of American Poet and read "Night Madness Poem" by Sandra Cisneros:

There's a poem in my head
like too many cups of coffee.
A pea under twenty eiderdowns.
A sadness in my heart like stone.

I'm good at making friends, and they're good at finding me. Time with a good poem is a treasure.

What do you think about free verse? Do you agree or disagree with Oliver?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Glimpses of The Berkshires

There were so many incredible moments on my trip to Lenox, MA for James Arthur's writing workshop. Here are a few:

Drove from Albany, NY to Lenox, MA listening to the new Norah Jones album "Little Broken Hearts"

I had to pull over to capture this photo

Olivia's Outlook - Had a semi-picnic here!

Brook Farm Inn - They have a poem of the day posted every morning and the met delicious scones I've ever tasted!

On the walk to Steepletop

Steepletop - Edna St. Vincent Millay's home - wish I could've taken a photo of her library!

The lovely group of people I shared my trip and lots of poetry with

I walked to this bookstore in the rain one day. The blisters on my feet were worth it! 

A view from The Mount - Edith Wharton's estate

About to start our tour of this divine home

I'd like to have a view like this!

The library - so much light it was hard to get a good shot!

What a sight to end the day!