Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"...we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals"

Ahh. Welcome, friends, to the other side. I feel as if we've all just walked through a magical forcefield and now, firmly planted in the land of Hope, we can start down the path in front of us.

President Obama...wait, I'm just gonna say that one more time, cause I want to... President Obama, also said that the road is a long one.

Indeed, the poetry revolution got off to a slow start yesterday. While I thought there were lovely moments in Ms. Alexander's poem, I'm not clear why she had to read it as if each word stood at its own bus stop in her throat, their rides all running behind, popping here and there out of the crush of commuter traffic. Two million people in front of her who now think of poetry as revealing itself in jerky syllabic fits and starts. But I'm glad she was there.

Furthering my frustration, however, was my discovery, upon visiting my local public library to request they post on their board a flyer for the upcoming poetry reading in which I will be a co-feature, that only free events can be posted on their board. Apparently a suggested donation of five bucks that might, if we're lucky, cover copying costs for the flyer they're planning on tossing disqualifies my reading and denies the citizens of my town knowledge of a locally-grown cultural happening. But I see their point, what with the glut of poetry readings everywhere, the overwhelming lineup of literary spectaculars, the performing arts soup we swim in every day here in my less-than-metropolitan home arena, I guess they had to draw the line somewhere.

7 comments:

bobbie said...

Ouch. Sorry about that.

Guess you'll have to ask the local grocery store and such to put up your flyer. Or the schools. I guess telephone poles are out of the question? Is there any local radio show that would agree to make an announcement?

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Kitty! Your mom and I were talking about Ms. Alexander's reading. I personally didn't like it because of the she was reading it. Your mom said she was probably nervous, which I'm sure is true.

Try your townhall. Most have a public bulletin. Lisa

Dave said...

Wonderful blog I have discovered in yours, through your Mothers.
Great writing. Wonderful "voice".
Thanks for this.

David

inkandpen said...

I was also disappointed by Ms. Alexander's poem, though I imagine I would like reading it, and might like it very much if someone else read it. And it is good to be reminded that not everyone is multi-talented: that is, one can be a skilled poet and still have no knack for public performance. That said, you'd have thought someone would have checked that out before sending her up in front of two million people.

On the other hand, wasn't Rev. Lowery wonderful?

Dianne said...

I saw the pic of I over at Bobbie's place and I'm very happy to see it again :)

what a wonderful time to be young! so much to look foward to and you're such a cool Mom :)

my local grocery store has all sorts of flyers up as does our town hall.

Kitty said...

Thanks, Dave - I'm actually about to teach a workshop on voice - so that's good to hear!!

Katie, all I can say is - "...where the Red Man can get ahead, Man..."

Have y'all seen this? http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/216596/january-21-2009/elizabeth-alexander

and this:
Making the News
by Gary Soto

It's not right to burn newsprint,
The stink of ink in the air,
But I have to crumple at least a few pages
And strike a match in the fireplace—
The bad years go up in a question mark of smoke,
Or should I make confetti from the sports section,
Or shape a dunce hat from the business page--
I the investor in rubber bands
That shot me in the foot.
Or should I cut out coupons—
Two cans of soup for the price of one.
Or, for a laugh, should I spread open the comics
On the kitchen table and string a macaroni necklace,
The playground craft I could master.
I choose smoke and fire,
The sting in my eyes on this January day,
And poke a wreath of newspaper

Until it crackles with a steady fire.
Let's air out the square and oval rooms.
Let's wave at a dog frolicking on the lawn.
Let's hear children and the tap of rain on a tulip.
Let's welcome the new resident to our house,
His handshake strong from the clasp of so many.

Kitty said...

Thanks, Dianne. Boy, I wish I felt like a cool mom.
And my former status with the paper is getting me an article ;-) I still want to find places to post flyers though...there are a few - the grocery stores don't seem to be into it here.

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