Worcester County Poetry Association
Worcester County Poetry Association / PO Box 804, Worcester, MA 01613 / 508-797-4770 / firstname.lastname@example.org
WORCESTER FAVORITE POEM PROJECT
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One day I read "Mending Wall" by Robert Frost. Why? Because Frost is the poet most people answer with first when you ask the 'person in the street' to name a poet. Why "Mending Wall?" Because it talks about the walls we build and why we build them poetically. The persona in the poem enjoys the backwardness of his neighbor who accepts unchallenged the phrase he inherited; "Good fences make good neighbors." Frost asks us to really think about that.
"Life Story" by Mary Ann Waters
Poets sometimes get inspiration from newspaper articles. This poem is a poet's powerful response to that experience, but I think that it also topical, with respect to current health care debates.
I chose to read "The World Is Too Much With Us" by William Wordsworth for its emotional power and the beauty of the language. Alive with anger, it provides a vent and an impossible solution (to be raised as a pagan - an unheard of thought in mid-19th century, Christian England - when the poem was written.) I respect the gauntlet Wordsworth throws down to all of us. Challenge the cynicism of materialism! Be awake to the majesty of the natural world.
Edna St. Vincent Millay was one of the poets whose work I read in high school. I think her "Sonnet XXX" is one of the most complete expressions of what love is. Partnering with Mauro DePasquali at WCCA TV13, WCPA has begun a community poems project in which our membership and others have been invited to record a reading of their favorite poem (a poem written by someone else.) Some folks plan to do this in costume, while others want to just do a dramatic reading in the costume we wear every day. The contact for this program is Jennifer Pickieri whose number is 508-755-1880 ext. 13. She is scheduling people on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Please feel free to make an appointment for your close-up and reading! WCCA will use these as it sees fit - as filler, on Community Visions, or as a digital archive for later review of our membership and others reading the great poets.
Be sure to let us know which poem you read and why you chose it. We'd love to add you to this archive.
Here's a list of some of the poems that have been read so far. (If the poem is underlined, click there to see the poem online.)
I read Frank O'Hara's "A True Account of Talking to the Sun on Fire Island". The poem is dated July, 1958, and to my ear represents O'Hara at his finest, not only whimsical and inventive, but expressing also -- perhaps rare for Frank -- a moral weight in the form of the values of tolerance and inclusion. Whenever I'm feeling a little grim about the mouth, I recite these lines to myself : And always embrace things / people sky earth stars/ that is your inclination / known in the heavens ' and you must follow it to hell if necessary / which I doubt. I love that ambiguity at the end there: it's hard to say if Frank doubts that hell exists, or doubts if we would have to follow this inclination to hell if it does exist . . . A comic turn, but also one that continues to speak to us: touch is a part of heaven, and O'Hara's instruction to embrace the world is clear and necessary and lovely. It's worth the struggle.