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.




Sunday, November 9, 2008

Arriving in Győr for Harold's "Alma"


(
harold schiffman-composer.com)


As those of you who have been reading my blog know, we traveled to Hungary for a special celebration, the European premiere of my dear friend Harold Schiffman's Alma cantata, based on poems from my collection WILDWOOD FLOWER. Coinciding with his 80th birth year, Harold Schiffman's cantata Alma (2002) was to receive, in Győr, Hungary, its European première in a performance by the Győr Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hungarian National Chorus, Mátyás Antal (for whom the work was written) conducting. The première was scheduled as part of the orchestra's regular subscription series. Mátyás Antal's recording of Alma (North/South Recordings), released in 2004, has drawn high critical praise.



Harold and his wife, the pianist Jane Perry-Camp, live in Robbinsville for part of the year and early on fell in love with mountain music and culture. Harold is a Greensboro native, with strong ties to my alma mater, UNCG. His settings of my poems give me goose-bumps each time I hear them, and I had goose-bumps big time when I heard the magnificent presentation of this canta on the evening of Thursday, 16 October 2008 in Győr's János Richter Hall.

First we had to get to Győr, however. And this was not easy. The train station in Budpest was confusing, and since few of the people working there knew English and we knew no Hungarian, Jim had written in Hungarian our request for tickets, always a good idea when traveling a country where the language is a mystery. Finally we found the Vienna Express, which made one stop along the way--in Győr---and settled in for the ride. I love riding trains. I even began a poem while we traveled through the Hungarian countryside.


Now the Vienna train picks up speed
and suddenly haybales large as my father's
rush by. Then gone as quickly
as now it seems he was. Verges
clustered with glowing leaves, faster
and faster, the villages strewn over
hillsides like seed pods, the ongoing
fields of corn weathered by now into
dun-colored tapestries....




We got up bright and early next morning to explore the small city, which as the following photos make abundantly clear, is both charming and beautiful.



(Jim checking out the beer prices at a restaurant!)



(If you look carefully through the trees you can see a statue of a man astride a beast part horse, part fish!



(Morning sun over the city)



(I want a writer's studio here, where I can look out of all those windows, watching everything going on, and never writing another word! Who would need to? Welcome, writer's block! I'd have the city of Gyor to observe all day long.)



The colors of the buildings in Győr captivated me.









And so did the color of the paprikas!

2 comments:

Lynn said...

Kathryn ... your pictures are amazing! I'm sitting here looking at them and thinking, "oooh to be inspired in a place like that"! These are beautiful!!

So happy I stumbled upon your blog.

-Lynn

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Thanks, Lynn, for your wonderful comments. So glad you found the blog!
Kay