Columnists

Saturday Night is the Loneliest Night of the Week

By Todd Boss on 4.02.09

I got an email from my accountant the other day, lamenting the fact that his weekday work schedule frequently keeps him from attending my poetry readings. “Do poets not read on weekends?” he asked.

The answer, of course, is no. One of the assumptions that may be making an ass out of me and my fellow poets is the assumption that no one will come to a poetry reading on a weekend, and that therefore the only feasible nights for a poetry audience are the dreariest weekdays in the calendar: namely, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights.

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Having Poems by Heart

By Maxine Kumin on 3.30.09

I grew up in an era when in grade school we were urged to memorize Longfellow, Whittier, James Russell Lowell, even Poe, and the habit stayed with me for life. I can still call back about 30 lines of “The Vision of Sir Launfal” and can hear “the tintinabulation of the bells” whenever I want to. As I grew up I did this secretly, taking loved poems in by a sort of osmosis, absorbing the rhymed ones, which were easy to learn by heart as each rhymed word served as a prompt for its fellow.

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