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poetry festival 
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Post poetry festival
If any poetry lovers will be near NJ in September, the Dodge Poetry Festival will be back. This enormous program spans 3 or 4 days and some pretty well known poets will be there. Joy Harjo, Lucille Clifton, Sharon Olds (Saffron- I knew you'd like that), Maxine Kumin, Billy Collins, Naomi Shihab Nye, and many others will be involved in this program that takes place at the location where Woodstock occured. Although I was always interested in going to the festival, this year will be my first time and I am pretty excited.

Whether you want to go or whether you are curious about what it is, I am inlcuing the link below in case you wnt to check out the page!
http://www.dodgepoetry.org/

As for my poem of the moment, since I have poetry on the brain, I will go with this one from Levertov.

The Secret

Two girls discover
the secret of life
in a sudden line of
poetry.

I who don't know the
secret wrote
the line. They
told me

(through a third person)
they had found it
but not what it was
not even

what line it was. No doubt
by now, more than a week
later, they have forgotten
the secret,

the line, the name of
the poem. I love them
for finding what
I can't find,

and for loving me
for the line I wrote,
and for forgetting it
so that

a thousand times, till death
finds them, they may
discover it again, in other
lines

in other
happenings. And for
wanting to know it,
for

assuming there is
such a secret, yes,
for that
most of all.

Denise Levertov



Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:19 pm
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Babyblues,
I plan to go to the poetry festival. I am thinking I should buy my entrance ticket ahead. Believe it or not, I haven't read Denise Levertov. I really like the poem you posted. This may mean another trip to the library.

Saffron



Last edited by Saffron on Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:10 am
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Post Re: poetry festival
BabyBlues wrote:
in this program that takes place at the location where Woodstock occured.


Hi Babyblues,

There's no point in being 56 if I can't point out that the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was held in Bethel, NY, in the Catskill region. No, I wasn't there. :smile:

DWill



Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:48 pm
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Post duh
DWill
Please excuse my error :oops: ... besides having brain melt :doze:, I think I was misremembering the following quote from the festival page.

Quote:
The biennial Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival is the largest poetry event in North America. These four-day celebrations of poetry have been called "poetry heaven" by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass, "a new Woodstock" by the Christian Science Monitor, and simply "Wordstock" by The New York Times


There is no point in being 36 if I haven't learned to laugh at myself.... :laugh:



Last edited by BabyBlues on Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:20 pm
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Post Levertov
Saffron,

I first read Levertov in an anthology for my poetry class in college. The poem that caught my eye is below. I loved the image of the steps and the way the poem shows how different places or things will remind us of pieces of our past. It spoke to me when I was in my early 20s and still resonates today. :hmm:




A Time Past
by Denise Levertov


The old wooden steps to the front door
where I was sitting that fall morning
when you came downstairs, just awake,
and my joy at sight of you (emerging
into golden day



Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:45 pm
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Post Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival
Image



Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:33 pm
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Post Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival
It is not upon you alone the dark patches fall,
The dark threw patches down upon me also;
The best I had done seem'd to me blank and suspicious;
My great thoughts, as I supposed them, were they not in reality meagre? would not people laugh at me?

Excerpt from Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
Walt Whitman (1819



Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:53 pm
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Post Mark Doty
Mark Doty is one of the poets that will be reading at the festival next week. Here is a poem of his that I especially like. He said this poem was inspired by a line from Rainer Maria Rilke's "Archaic Torso of Apollo". I leave it to you to figure out which line.

A Green Crab's Shell
by Mark Doty


Not, exactly, green:
closer to bronze
preserved in kind brine,

something retrieved
from a Greco-Roman wreck,
patinated and oddly

muscular. We cannot
know what his fantastic
legs were like--

though evidence
suggests eight
complexly folded

scuttling works
of armament, crowned
by the foreclaws'

gesture of menace
and power. A gull's
gobbled the center,

leaving this chamber
--size of a demitasse--
open to reveal

a shocking, Giotto blue.
Though it smells
of seaweed and ruin,

this little traveling case
comes with such lavish lining!
Imagine breathing

surrounded by
the brilliant rinse
of summer's firmament.

What color is
the underside of skin?
Not so bad, to die,

if we could be opened
into this--
if the smallest chambers

of ourselves,
similarly,
revealed some sky.



Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:54 am
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Here is a partial list of poets that will be at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival:

CD Wright
Jane Hirshfield
Mark Doty
Joy Harjo
Naomi Shihab Nye
Lucille Clifton
Edward Hirsch
Chris Abani
Sharon Olds (a favorite of mine)
Robert Hass
Maxine Kumin
Ted Kooser
Billy Collins



Wed Sep 17, 2008 5:55 am
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This is the first poem I heard read at the Dodge Poetry Festival. I especially like the 3rd stanza. The poet, Simon Armitage, said the experience of writing this poem is what first made him call himself a poet.


It Ain't What You Do, It's What It Does To You

I have not bummed across America
with only a dollar to spare, one pair
of busted Levi's and a bowie knife.
I have lived with thieves in Manchester.

I have not padded through the Taj Mahal,
barefoot, listening to the space between
each footfall picking up and putting down
its print against the marble floor. But I


skimmed flat stones across Black Moss on a day
so still I could hear each set of ripples
as they crossed. I felt each stone's inertia
spend itself against the water; then sink.

I have not toyed with a parachute cord
while perched on the lip of a light-aircraft;
but I held the wobbly head of a boy
at the day centre, and stroked his fat hands.

And I guess that the tightness in the throat
and the tiny cascading sensation
somewhere inside us are both part of that
sense of something else. That feeling, I mean.

Simon Armitage



Fri Sep 26, 2008 8:49 pm
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One poet I regret not having the opportunity to hear read at the Dodge Poetry Festival is Ted Kooser.

On the way to NJ for the festival I drove by a field of sunflowers. Did you know they all face east! I didn't. Here's Frank Steele's poem entitled Sunflower.


You're expected to see
only the top, where sky
scrambles bloom, and not
the spindly leg, hairy, fending off
tall, green darkness beneath.
Like every flower, she has a little
theory, and what she thinks
is up. I imagine the long
climb out of the dark
beyond morning glories, day lilies, four o'clocks
up there to the dream she keeps
lifting, where it's noon all day.



Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:08 pm
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The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival turns out is the largest in North America. I had no idea. Over the course of the 4 days about 18,000 people will go to hear poetry read aloud; amazing and hope inspiring. The number of students attending the festival was astounding. It was incredible to see small groups of kids sequestered off on porches or on a bench discussing or reading poetry together; on hill sides larger groups of students taking turns reading to a crowd whooping and cheering. No, I am not making this up. I took pictures for proof.

Poets I heard: Simon Armitage, Mark Doty, Joy Harjo, Sharon Olds, Brenda Hillman, Peter Cole, C. D. Wright, Franz Wright, Jane Hirshfield, Linda Pastan, Martin Espada, Charles Simic, Billy Collins, Brenda Hillman, Maxine Kumin, and Kevin Young. Gee, no wonder I am tired.

I am most happy that I had the opportunity to hear Sharon Olds speak and read. Mark Doty and Jane Hirshfield were a tie for 2nd. Listening to Martin Espada (new to me) was like watching a one man play. He is a rather large imposing man, with a voice that is like eating chocolate cake.

I will most definitely go back in 2 years.

Saffron



Last edited by Saffron on Sat Sep 27, 2008 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:29 am
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"A voice that is like eating chocolate cake..." Saffron, you are a poet. One of those poets who just breathes the occasional lovely poem in passing, almost under her breath, unattached to whether or not anyone hears, just to be speaking poetry. Now look what you've done. You have me fawning on you.



Sat Sep 27, 2008 2:58 pm
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Thank you, GentleReader. You are most kind.



Sat Sep 27, 2008 4:14 pm
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Mark Doty's reading and explanation of his poem Pipistrelle was a highlight. Here is a link to him reading.

Pipistrelle



Sat Sep 27, 2008 4:22 pm
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