Welcome to where I am, where my kitchen's always messy, a pot's (or a poet) always about to boil over, a dog is always begging to be fed. Drafts of poems on the counter. Windows filled with leaves. Wind. Clouds moving over the mountains. If you like poetry, books, and music--especially dog howls when a siren unwinds down the hill-- you'll like it here.


MY NEW AUTHOR'S SITE, KATHRYNSTRIPLINGBYER.COM, THAT I MYSELF SET UP THROUGH WEEBLY.COM, IS NOW UP. I HAD FUN CREATING THIS SITE AND WOULD RECOMMEND WEEBLY.COM TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN SETTING UP A WEBSITE. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT MY NEW SITE TO KEEP UP WITH EVENTS RELATED TO MY NEW BOOK.


MY NC POET LAUREATE BLOG, MY LAUREATE'S LASSO, WILL REMAIN UP AS AN ARCHIVE OF NC POETS, GRADES K-INFINITY! I INVITE YOU TO VISIT WHEN YOU FEEL THE NEED TO READ SOME GOOD POEMS.

VISIT MY NEW BLOG, MOUNTAIN WOMAN, WHERE YOU WILL FIND UPDATES ON WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY KITCHEN, IN THE ENVIRONMENT, IN MY IMAGINATION, IN MY GARDEN, AND AMONG MY MOUNTAIN WOMEN FRIENDS.




Friday, November 28, 2008

An Appalachian Songbook on WDAV fm

On Thanksgiving Day, I had something special for dessert. WDAV fm station ran the recording of "An Appalachian Songbook," a composition by Kenneth Frazelle, with soprano Jacquelyn Culpepper, pianist Phillip Bush, and me reading poems from WILDWOOD FLOWER and BLACK SHAWL interwoven into the musical fabric. This recording was made at St. Peter's Church, where the Charlotte Chamber Music Series has become a popular program in the area. Elaine Spallone, whose blog I list, helps make these programs possible. She's an amazing artist herself. So, give her blog a visit.
You may download the performance at WDAV.org, where you will also find information about the performers. (http://www.wdav.org/printable_html.cfm?page=1_222_0&cat=1&subcat=222&subsub=0&do=view&id=210)



Here are two poems from the program:

DULCIMER


No, I'll not listen.
The sound of it's too sweet,
like honey I licked from the spoon
while he sat on my porch
and played Shady Grove.
"You are the darling of my heart,
stay till the sun goes down."

I remember the hoot owl came closer.
Moths burned their wings in his candle wick.
"Midnight," I said,
and his fingers stirred wind from the strings,
begging, Stay, while he cradled the wood in his lap

for a last song, the hazel-
green eyes of a lost lady.
Weep Willow.
Soul of the laurel shade.

"Come," he said, pointing through dark
to the bed of leaves
we'd gathered, wildflowers strewn
on a pillow of moss.
But I sent him away,
letting go of his hand
without whispering as I do
now when my wits fail me, oh my
sweet, nothing
but sweet
good for nothing man.

from Black Shawl, (LSU press 1998)



EMPTY GLASS

Last night I stood
ringing my empty glass
under the black empty sky
and beginning, of all

things, to sing. The mountains
paid no attention.
The cruel ice did not
melt. But just for a moment

the hoot owl grew silent.
And somewhere the wolves
hiding out in their dens
opened cold, sober eyes.

Here's to you I sang,
meaning the midnight
the dark moon
the empty well,

meaning myself
upon whom
the snow fell
without any apology.

From WILDWOOD FLOWER (LSU Press 1992)

4 comments:

Elaine Spallone said...

NIce post! We are actually Charlotte Chamber Music, separate from the church! (although that is how it started 13 years ago). But we are no longer part of their music series.

Great broadcast!

Vicki Lane said...

Thanks for sharing the link -- I look forward to hearing this!

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Thanks, Elaine. I will correct! I agree, the broadcast was lovely. How are the pies going? Mine yesterday wasn't my best! K.

Nancy Simpson said...

Kay, This was an inspiring program. I am happy I heard every word and note. Thanks for letting me know ahead of time. I was happy to have your voice here in my house. The music was exceptional too.

Nancy Simpson