Last night I and hundreds of others in Concord, NH, witnessed an amazing reading of poetry by three United States Poets Laureate: Maxine Kumin, Donald Hall, and Charles Simic. Its remarkable to see and hear so much richness and virtuousity in one place … and even more remarkable to contemplate the fact shared by Mike Pride, editor of the Concord Monitor, who introduced the poets … all three of them live within 30 miles of Concord!
What is it about this granite and ice, I wonder. The readings were wonderful, and each entirely individual. Rooted in their collective 200-some years of experience, the words were well-crafted, lovingly honed gifts. What an honor, on a January night, to sit in the presence of these aging masters – their presence at once so robust and so evanescent!
It somehow reminded me of the two deer that were pointed out to me this past Monday, on the edge of the field outside our kitchen wondow. There they were, big as life, browsing for something, anything, edible. Looking, I saw them clearly … yet a moment before, they had been right there and I’d seen nothing but the woods, still and cold and unpopulated.
My world feels more alive than it did before last night. How could it not? There are three venerable Poets Laureate toiling out there in their poets’ houses somewhere, hardly noticed, but very nearby!