Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg reads in Hutchinson, Kansas

Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg read from her work at the Hutchinson Art Center tonight. It was sponsored by the Hutchinson Reno County Arts and Humanities Council and Hutchinson Community College.

She has written four books of poetry, and much of her work focuses on how writing generates community. This is a fascinating concept to me. I do think the arts of all kinds help form community, and give an identity to it.

Much of what she read was from her most recent book, "Landed." She said it was 16 years in the making. She said, "You have to wait until the poem arrives."

As I often do when I see poets, I'm struck by certain turns of phrase. I do not have a sufficient grasp of the language to write poetry, but I love to hear it read by the people who wrote it. It's so easy - there's no decision necessary on my part - the writer gives me the intonation the way they intended. It's an effortless way to experience it.

These were some of the notes I made tonight. Obviously, there's much more to each poem, and these are just little snippets.

"Where for a moment, all that wants to be said is heard."
"Why can't the heart stop asking?"
"When the wait is long and the news is bad."
"Shards of nightmare."
"I don't have language enough to explain how I arrived here."
"Wind tells the sea in you, the old stars in you too, welcome home."
"Will you be true to me? Do I know how to be true to you?"
"Music made of air and pulse."
"I'm just a container for time like a river. Tell, me, what's not to love?"
"In the end there's only kindness."
"In this kindness there are always stories."
"Only kindness matters in the circle of love he made in this world."
"Get up from that curb where you wait for the parade of acceptance."
"Find or make another home."
"Don't push choices before their time."