Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Inch One Hundred Twenty-Six: Poetry Night

Poetry Night is every Wednesday evening, starting around 7:30 p.m.

Poetry Night can be at Mark and Mel's house, or my house, or Michele's house. We may not end up at Michele's house until the fall, because of other complications, but the point is that Poetry Night floats.

Poetry Night involves food and drink. And, of course, poetry. Lots of poetry. 


Poetry Night just started a few Wednesdays ago, but shows signs of becoming a permanent fixture.

If you come to Poetry Night, you may read either your own poems or poems by someone else. At the last Poetry Night, which was held on our back deck, we soon had a towering stack of poetry anthologies on the table. I read some of my own work, as well as "Supper with Lindsay" by Theodore Roethke. I read the Roethke because Mel had just read Ginsberg's "A Supermarket in California" and Walt Whitman appears in both of them. 

At that same Poetry Night, Mel also read Roethke's "My Papa's Waltz," which is a heartbreaking poem. 

You may attend Poetry Night and not participate, but so far that is a limited privilege granted only to my husband, who got badly scarred somewhere in his formative years and has been poetry adverse ever since. However, despite his scars, Warren sat and listened and smiled. 

Poetry Night is the inspiration of my friend, Mark, with whom I created the Death and Dying Poetry Club.  Because we know each other's work, he can say to me, "oh, read the one about the baggage," and I know exactly which poem he is referencing. 

At the last poetry night. Michele read a work in draft about fireflies. Some of the poem contrasted the use of the light for both mating and attracting prey. Mel and I heard the word "prey" as "pray" and so we had a whole different take on the poem. It was appropriate that we were on our back deck and the fireflies were just beginning to flash their lights as Michele read. 

Mark read some fragments of poems at the last Poetry Night, then emailed them to us all. Our assignment is to use the fragments as prompts for writing a poem. I wrote mine last Friday while sitting in the parking lot at the library waiting for it to open. Mine is called "When Walt Whitman Called Upon Emily Dickinson." 

Warren and I will miss two weeks of Poetry Night in August, when we are traveling out of town, but I am hopeful I will find some poems in our travels and bring them back with me to Delaware. By then, I should have received a copy of a small poetry anthology I just bought online at Etsy. It is a collections of works by indigenous poets, and my daughter-in-law Alise has a poem in it. I am looking forward to reading both her poem and my poem at the same Poetry Night. 

There are undoubtedly poems in Poetry Night itself, but none of us has written them yet. 


Darla said...

This sounds like the start of a wonderful tradition. I'll be waiting to hear more as the weeks pass. I'm already excited to read the poems you mention, hopefully I can find them online.

Adeline said...

Such an lovely idea! I should start something similar in my area. Thank you!