Vermont's second annual Poetry Alive! celebration of National Poetry Month got underway tonight at Montpelier's Kellogg-Hubbard Library with a reading by former Maine poet laureate Baron Wormser.
He began the evening "with a couple of 'seasonal' poems -- about snow, and baseball".
Wormser continued, "Being a poet I'm not very interested in those people who get rich and famous and make it to the big leagues. I'm more interested in those who never leave the minors."
Poetry Alive! is a joint project between the Library and Montpelier's downtown association, with the purpose of emphasizing poetry as an everyday occurrence, not something reserved only for academics and special occasions.
Along with contributions from notables such as Galway Kinnell, Leland Kinsey, Sherry Olsen, Cora Brooks and David Huddle, for the next month poems will be posted in 70 Montpelier business by local poets at every level, from ambitious amateurs all the way to published professionals. The complete schedule of Poetry Alive! events is here.
I've appeciated and written poetry for most of my life. Learning about its relationship to classical music has only deepened that appreciation. When I listen to songs by Schubert, Schumann, Mahler, Eric Whitacre, Frank Ticheli, and so many others - I try to understand the relationship between the music, and the verse it supports. What makes a successful song setting? Which comes first in the inspiration, the poetry or the music? How does a good singer bridge the gap between words and melodies, by breathing life into the final creation?
This month on VPR Classical I'm going to be featuring a selection of poetry, read in the voices of the poets themselves, along with song settings and other poetic explorations. You can listen in weekdays from 8-10am for a celebration of National Poetry Month, and participate by leaving a comment here to share your favorite poet, poem, or recollection of how poetry has affected your life.
"The time has come, the Walrus said, to speak of many things..."