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.




Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Poem a Day. Why not try it?



I was just browsing the website of Osondu Booksellers in Waynesville, one of my favorite Indie Bookstores, second only to City Lights Books in Sylva, owned and run by my good friend Joyce Moore, and found the results of this poll, asking which book group would you be most interested in joining.

Mystery---7.36.8%
Local History---7 .36.8%
Poetry---5 .26.3%

Well, it's true only 19 people responded, and even 5 percent wanting a poetry book group is encouraging. But the next poll asked which book genre would you like to see Osondu's expanding and poetry was not even on the list! It's time for that to change. Because, in case you haven't heard, "change" is the word these days.

So, here is my suggestion during this wintry weather, and beyond: Go ask your bookseller or a friend who reads and/or writes poems to recommend a good book of poetry, and every afternoon when the holiday stress is getting to you, sit down with a cup of tea, or a glass of wine, and read one poem from that book.

Just one.

That's all you have to do. Read it slowly as you sip your beverage, take deep breaths as Dr. Weil urges us to do, and simply let the language steep in your mind as your tea has steeped in the hot water.

I know, I know, we all love to get hooked by so-called "page-turners." Oh, I couldn't wait to find out who did this or said that! Well, poetry asks you to wait. And this time of year, we'd all feel calmer if we slowed down and read just one poem slowly and gratefully. As for the tea--right now I'm sipping Afternoon Darjeeling, with milk and just a tad of brown sugar. It's delicious. The poem that's waiting for me? Maybe one by several of my favorite poets---Nancy Simpson, Cecilia Woloch, William Wordsworth, Bill Brown, Seamus Heaney, doris davenport, and on into poetic infinity.

I'll join you there. We'll share a cup of tea and a book of poetry together.

5 comments:

James Hogan said...

Love, love, love this idea. And I'll add another way to implement it--maybe you can find a favorite poem set to music! There is a very, very rare mp3 living on my hard drive of a choral ensemble singing the text of Frost's "Stopping/Woods/Snowy Evening," set to an arrangement by Eric Whitacre. Eric apparently wrote the arrangement and made it through a first recording before finding out that Frost's text could not be cleared for recording purposes. (Oh, copyright)

Legal or not, my mp3 brings such an immediate soothing sense in the winter as the warm voices call out "Whose woods these are I think I know...."

Susan M. Bell said...

One year for Valentine's Day, the hubby bought me a thesaurus, a copy of Writer's Market and a set of cassette tapes with original poetry read by the authors. The oldest one on there is copied from a wax cylinder. (Can't remember off the top of my head who the poet was.) Robert Frost is there with The Road Not Taken, Dylan Thomas with Do Not Go Gentle Into That Goodnight and a big favorite of mine, Maya Angelou with Phenomenal Woman. WOW! Sometimes the hubbys get it right, don't they.

Reading, or listening to, a poem a day is definitely not too much to ask. And we should absolutely look for a poet or poets we haven't read before. Or maybe just a style we didn't think we'd like...we should give it another try.

Although I have to say that sometimes I will join you in that cup of tea, often it will be flavored coffee. My favorite right now is Sugar-Free Decaf GF International Coffee's Suisse Mocha with either Pumpkin Pie Spice or Marshmallow Mocha flavored creamer. Yum!

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Susan, your coffee tastes are beyond reproach! And James I wonder how we might put together a recording like the one you talk about. Maybe some poems with appropriate musical background. Copyright? I thought after a certain length of time, poems became public domain, but i guess with Frost not that much time has passed. Let's think about this. Susan, thanks so much for responding. Maybe we can pull you into this project!

Susan M. Bell said...

Poetry set to music. Isn't that what most songs are anyway? I used to think Bob Dylan was overrated, then I heard someone just read some of his lyrics out loud. What a poet he is.

I love the idea of taking favorite poems and setting them to music. I bet the Frost arrangement is beautiful.

Oh, and I forgot one creamer. My absolutely favorite to use: Southern Butter Pecan. Bea-U-Ti-Ful.

Jane said...

Sounded like a plan to me! Yesterday, I carried out the plan with a cup of green tea with peach and W.B. Yeats. Good company.