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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Poetry Friday

This is taken from a Teachers & Writers announcement:


T&W Launches Citywide Poem Project

This spring, Teachers & Writers Collaborative will launch A Poem as Big as the City, a community poetry-writing project in which thousands of young New Yorkers will write about their everyday experiences growing up in the neighborhoods of New York City. Project components will include:

* Poetry-writing workshops at schools, library branches, community arts centers, museums, and parks;
* A book featuring the best of the youth poetry and presenting the diverse lives and neighborhoods that give shape to the spirit of New York City; and
* A series of public events featuring the youth poets reading their poems alongside well-known New York writers at significant cultural sites in each borough.

Doesn't it seem like a fun project? Is this something we could do statewide here in NH? Keep in mind there are only about a million people in the whole state of NH and there are about 8 million in the city of New York, still, we should be able to interest enough people in writing. As they plan to do in NY, the people of NH could write about specific aspects of NH life in order to gain new perspective on the state as a whole. For instance, the experience of hearing spring peepers every April, or jumping in a pile of leaves in the fall, or standing outside waiting for the school bus on a below freezing day. Here's the beginning of a poem very specific to NY, by Franklin Pierce Adams:
A New York Child’s Garden of Verses
In winter I get up at night,
And dress by an electric light.
In summer, autumn, ay, and spring,
I have to do the self-same thing.

I have to go to bed and hear
Pianos pounding in my ear,
And hear the janitor cavort
With garbage cans within the court.

And does it not seem hard to you
That I should have these things to do?
Is it not hard for us Manhat-
Tan children in a stuffy flat?

Read the rest here.

If you'd like to read some NH poets, start with Robert Frost, then delve into Donald Hall [818 HAL], Jane Kenyon [811.54 KEN], Maxine Kumin [811.54 KUM], or Patricia Fargnoli [811.54 FAR].

Then start thinking about writing your NH experiences!

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