Like any art, poetry comes about as the result of attentive work. Robert Frost (the title of this post is from his “Mowing”), Philip Levine (“What Work Is“), Lorine Niedecker (“Poet’s Work“), Victoria Chang (“I Once Was a Child“), and so many others have written evocative poems on the subject of work: what it is, how it affects family, why it matters. Another unforgettable poem of this sort is by Robert Hayden: “Those Winter Sundays.” Check it out and check out The Poetry Foundation, which offers an amazing online archive of poems that I’ll utilize from time to time; many of the pieces have recordings of the poets reading their works. Be sure to listen to the Hayden poem while you read it–and then maybe read it aloud yourself.
Work and works: it’s time for me to get to work. I’ve scheduled my first workshop event in Metaline Falls on March 13th; that’s an appropriate place for me to start because it’s one of the first places where I offered a community poetry workshop in Washington–back in 2002, maybe? 2001? Anyhow, I remember one thing for sure: the participants gave me a Marionberry pie as thanks for my time spent with them. I also remember the many friends I made, and so, I’m off to the Cutter Theater for a workshop, some good music from composer Donivan Johnson, and the encouraging possibility of gathering some poems from the writers in that community–and from many other places in our state. Send me an email if you’d like me to visit your region (the Events page will give an idea of where I’m at and where I’ll soon be).
Allons, as Walt Whitman announced: Let’s go!