Sunday, July 20, 2008

Last-Minute Vermont Poetry Vacation, Evenings Only, July 21-25

I can't quite believe the notice for this workshop arrived so late in my e-mail box. But because it features two impassioned poets of northern Vermont who have forged a delicious teaching team, I'm passing along word here anyway. Maybe someone has an easier calendar than mine! Even if you can only attend for part of the week, Julia Shipley and Peggy Sapphire may remind you why you're a poet or poetry reader at heart.

River Arts | PO Box 829 | 74 Pleasant Street | Morrisville, Vermont 05661 | (802) 888-1261 -

Join us for a poetry workshop Monday through Thursday, July 21-24. Peggy Sapphire and Julia Shipley will lead this workshop from 6-8pm at the River Arts Center. There will be an Open reading Friday, July 25. Come to one evening or come to them all.

This workshop is for anyone who loves to write poetry, who knows well the places where they have lived, where they live now, who dreams perhaps of where they'd like to live, who treasures a place they may return to in, their memories, their imaginations, their dreams. Poetry of Place can take us anywhere, from a room to a road, miles from here or Here.

Bring all this, and paper & pen, and, if possible, copies of a favorite poem of place you've found in your reading , to share with fellow travelers in this workshop.

This workshop is intended for those 15 and up. There is a suggested donation of $7 per evening. For more information or to sign up: 888-1261

Thanks to the Vermont Arts Council for making this and other summer residencies possible.

I’ve sworn I’ll leave this place when you are gone. Let me be clear: when I must survive without you, climb our stairs, walk our floor, when my hands must close our front door, or open it with unnatural hope, they will hold your hands. When I look up, it will be as if you reside in the hemlock beams sanded free of splinters, chamfered and lamb-tongued. I will remember wood shavings, wood-dusting your beard and my long hair, neither of us able to see past our glasses. Through the many windows whose light I had to have, I’ll see our blue spruce, doubled, even tripled, but never enough to give shade, another wild hope. So what, we shrugged, we’ve got our old wild apple trees, generous with Mac reds each September, ready for applesaucing, peel and all, your day of coring, cutting and stirring, of portioning, labeling and freezing. In Winter, the season of water falling like stones upon my lips, finches & nuthatches will be longing too, awaiting your faithful replenishing of black-oil seeds and suet. I won’t manage their grief and mine. Upstairs, in the library you invented, our shelves cut from local kingdom pine, I would have to face titles of volumes lugged from borrowed basements, our former homes, rented rooms, one last time. There will always be mornings of southeast sun, honey-light in the afternoons, lupines will seed themselves, our rosa rugosas will never need pampering, that was our plan, lilies on their own, clustered and weathering with masses of mallow, daisies and black-eyeds. Our stone path hemmed in every space by creeping thyme and myrtle, as if we’d known they’d also find their way. Best to leave them to their destinies, as I will be, all promises kept, circles fully rounded.

-Peggy Sapphire

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