Monday, May 07, 2007

Peggy Sapphire, Outspeaking Poet

She left behind Connecticut, where she was an editor of the Connecticut River Review. She dug into her Craftsbury, Vermont, homestead, tugging at the strands of community, finding a place for herself. Long a member of the International Women's Writing Guild, she soon committed to the local library; to the Jewish community in Montpelier; and to the poets around her, forging friendships, exchanging support.

So when Peggy Sapphire's first collection of poetry, A POSSIBLE EXPLANATION, arrived in 2006 from Partisan Press, there was a warm welcome from many communities and friends at once. After all, she has 40 years of writing poetry under her belt. And now we can sample it with more than one poem at a time.

Sapphire has just returned from an event with the Connecticut Poetry Society, a group that publishes the Connecticut River Review, That followed a reading she gave with other poets (Greg Delanty, Martha Zweig) in Manchester, as well as her visit to Kingdom Books.

She's reading again in Vermont on Tuesday evening May 15, at 7 p.m., at Beth-Jacob Synagogue in Montpelier (10 Harrison Ave. -- see the synagogue web site for directions). Here's a taste of why it's worth attending, from her collection:


Kindness is what she needs
in the midst of dying
not my regrets reminding her
of what remains undone unsaid
of intimate misunderstandings
I surrender instead
applauding that she
still combs the newspaper
as faithfully as others pray
seeking signs of the
Workers' Revolution.

She makes her daily bed
between chest-heaving collapses
pays her bills to protect
her perfect credit even as
she waits to hear CT scan results
revealing whether there's enough
of her left to warrant
replacing the car,

after all, she still needs
to get around.

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