Monkey See, Monkey Read hosted a poetry reading last night. Four poets as well as editor Robert Hedin were on hand to read from the new anthology Where One Voice Ends Another Begins: 150 Years of Minnesota Poetry. The Poems rained down like water from above. The poets pictured above are Mai Neng Moua, Ed-Bok Lee, Jim Heynen and James Armstrong.
David Bly reads an original poem titled April.
It bursts from the ground golden and green like a trumpet sound
Snow receding ice gone water soaks into the soil the green shoot
A green ribbon lifts and falls on the watery mud of the river bank
A profound sadness hovers over me like a grey cloud
I don’t know where it comes from this feeling of dread when
The bright sun holds such promise as if it is more painful to begin
I would welcome the fool’s blindness that keeps him from seeing
The abyss he is falling into but nothing will deter his foot from
Stepping over the wall eyes up follow the lilting climb of the lark
Newly awakened from that dream of sleep he has no fear of falling
No inkling that he hangs by a narrow thread and his foot will soon slip
But this is what it means to be that newborn lamb the spindle legged
Calf clinging to life with each breath sucking at a mother’s teat
Where did I ever get the idea I could escape the life of feeling -
The life of letting go and picking up again – the crocus lifting its head
Bursting into blossom and laying it down again wilted and dry
The cool air the bright sun the musty smell of life that holds us
Against the silent sky and we fall into it not knowing where it ends
Justine Goeke reads "What it's like to be a Black Girl(For Those of You Who Aren't)" by Patricia Smith.
Marit Hanson reads Mary Oliver's "The Journey."
Jeff Challberg reads Our Ruins by Reed Whittemore. Reed Whittmore was a professor of English at Carleton College from 1946-65. He edited the journal the Carleton Miscellany.