Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Sunday Salon and Poetry is For the Byrd's... Plus 3 Reasons Why You Should Go to a Poetry Reading

 Welcome to The Sunday Salon and The Sunday Post! It's that day of the week bloggers from all over the internet get together virtually in a large gathering place called The Sunday Salon and talk books!  And at The Sunday Post, which is a weekly meme hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, in which more bloggers share their bookish news.

Ahhhh, the morning sun is shining in the window and I'm ready for an absolutely beautiful day in Connecticut! I'm still in that poetry kind of mood, especially since I went to a poetry reading friday night at my local indie bookstore, Byrd's Books... and yes, that's why "Poetry is for the Byrd's". You may wonder what happens at a poetry reading. Oh yes, poets read their poems, but it's more than just reading poems. It's an experience really. And if you DON'T like poetry, or if you're kind of ify on it all, going to a poetry reading just may tip the scale in favor of poetry, and here's 3 reasons why...

1. You get to actually hear the person who wrote the poems READ the poem. To me, poetry should be read out loud! And hearing the person who wrote the poem actually read the poem the way they think it should sound is wonderful. The loudness, the softness, the subtleness of the words. The timing, the breaks, and the emphasis of certain phrases.

2.  You learn the story behind the poem. Poems are like little stories and to know what it's all about makes the poem more meaningful, even if it isn't your story.

3. You learn about the poet. What motivates the poet? What are their life experiences? How did they come by writing poetry. Learning about the poet helps you connect with what they write.

So, what about the poetry reading I went to... 

Friday evening at 7pm, my girlfriend Grace and I, arrived at Byrd's Books in Bethel, Ct. Light refreshments, a great independent bookstore, and 5 poets awaited... David K. Leff, Donna Marie Merritt, Amy Nawrocki, Lisa Schwartz (Newtown, Ct's Poet Laureate) and Susan Tuz.  This was the first time I had ever been to Byrd's Books and I immediately fell in love... but that's a story for another time. After looking around, and glancing through some poetry books, we sat down...

Lisa Schwartz
After each poet was introduced with a little background info, (the who, what, and whys), the reading of the poetry started. Each poet read for about 15 minutes, and it was just so wonderful. These were little stories that kept our attention, warmed our heart, made us laugh (yes, Lisa Schwartz I'm talking about you!), and even made a few of us shed a tear (that one's for you, Donna Marie Merritt). Through these simple words we were able to connect with these people, these poets and feel something. And that's what poetry is all about.. feeling something! Just like the lyrics to your favorite song, poetry can be enjoyed...

At the end, each poet read just one of their poems, so we could hear the difference in the poetry and the poets, because they were all different. The subjects, the way they were written, the feelings they drew out of you. And it was interesting to hear the different voices reading the poems too.

Donna Marie Merritt
After the reading, we mingled with the poets, asked all sorts of questions and got to know some of them a little better. All the poets were wonderful. Each poet had their own style, and I found something to enjoy in all of them. Of course, some of the poetry resonated with me more than others. Lisa Schwartz, who is the poet laureate of Newtown, Ct. was a riot! Her poems were funny and snarky at times. She likes to write poems for occasions, which is perfect for a poet laureate, because she will write poems for the town of Newtown when they celebrate town milestones or occasions. Unfortunately, Lisa does not have a published collection of poetry (YET) because I would have loved to come home with one.... And then there was Donna Marie Merritt, whose poetry was simply beautiful. Her poems tugged at my heartstrings and I was wrapped up in every word. She told a story about leaving a poetry reading one night and seeing a homeless man with a sign that said, "will work for food". As she drove by, she thought to herself that she'd like to do something, but all she had were poetry books, but she turned around anyway, rolled down the window and asked if the man would like a poetry book? He accepted it gratefully, put down his sign, and walked off reading the book. Who was this man? How did he get to the place he is in now? How easy it would be to assume things. This random encounter moved her to write her most recent book of poetry called We Walk Together, which shows us that we are not so much individuals as we are human beings, interconnected. I picked up Donna's book, Her House and Other Poems, which is described on her website as, "From walks in the woods to ocean strolls, from a good glass of wine to celebrating joy in growing older, Merritt's fourth poetry collection speaks to the heart with poems about everyday life." She read a poem she wrote called Peaches from this book. It is about her dog and it had us all in tears. (With Donna's permission, I'm going to be posting her poem Peaches this week and you HAVE to come back and read it!!) And there are many other poems to enjoy in this beautifully written collection.  (BTW, I'll be reviewing this soon, but I can say I'm really enjoying reading it!) At about 9pm, Grace and I purchased our poetry books, I had my books signed, and off we went home, both of us enthused with poetry. A special thanks goes to Byrd's Books for hosting this wonderful event! I really enjoyed it and I'm sure everyone else did too! I'll be talking more about some of the poetry books from this evening in a future post...

It's still National Poetry Month, and that means I'll be posting more poetry for you to sample! If you missed any this week, Here are the links...

Tuesday... After the Movie by Marie Howe . Marie Howe is a contemporary poet who is just wonderful!

Thursday... If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda. Pablo is a romantic and wrote a book of poetry for his lover before they were married. This poem is part of that collection called The Captains Verses.

Here are all the links for all the "poetry posts" so far this month...

Question... Have you ever been to a Poetry Reading? If not, do you think you would go to one?

Byrd's Books
That about wraps it up this week. Still reading poetry, finished my reading group's book called The Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman and will see what everyone thought of it on Tuesday, and will be starting my reading group choice of The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney. I read the prologue and just loved it, so hope all the praise from everywhere is warranted. What have you been reading this week? Any poetry for National Poetry Month? I'd love to hear about it!!

Happy Reading... Suzanne

19 comments:

My Cozy Book Nook said...

I've only been to one poetry reading - Billy Collins when he was visiting the University where I was taking graduate courses. I LOVED it... but I have not gone to others. I think I'm afraid the poetry is too deep for me - filled with too many metaphors that I won't understand. Silly, huh?

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

We librarians organized a poetry reading for our district this year. It was so much fun!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Molly!
Billy Collins is one of my favorite poets! I would have loved to listen to him read! I know exactly what you're saying about some of the poetry being "too deep" to enjoy. What was nice about this poetry reading was that there was a variety of poets and types of poetry. Kind of something for everyone and I loved it. You would have definitely enjoyed it!!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Deb!
How wonderful that you organized a reading for the district! That's exactly what poetry needs more of!

Greg said...

I've never been to a poetry reading but I think it would be fun and interesting, no doubt. I'm not a huge poetry fan but I'm sure hearing poems read by the poet themselves would be nice. I definitely think it would be nice too to know the story behind the poem. :)

Hamlette said...

Hello! I'm so glad you decided to share this for the Poetry Month Celebration I've been hosting. I LOVE going to poetry readings, and even participated in some when I was in college. They are a cozy experience, generally. I haven't attended any in a while, but I'm sure when my kids are a bit older, I will get to more again.

And hey, I know where Bethel, CT is! Just one train stop down from Danbury. We lived in Danbury for 3 years! Small world, huh?

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Greg!
This was my first poetry reading and even though I do like poetry, I can see how going to one, even if you're not a fan, would be interesting. And I have to say that knowing the stories behind these poems really made a difference in how I enjoyed and listened to the poems.

Suzanne Yester said...

Thanks Hamlette for adding me to your list of poetry postings! You're doing a great job of spreading the word about poetry this month!!

And Danbury is exactly where I live!! It sure is a small world!

Hamlette said...

If you write more poetry posts as the month progresses and want to add them to the list, just leave me links like you did for this one. The more, the merrier! We are having a lot of fun, aren't we?

How cuh-ray-zee that you live in Danbury! We lived there 2008-2011, over on North Street. I used to go to a little used bookstore right next to an indy coffee shop in Bethel, Molten Java, I think? And there was a yarn store in Bethel I went to sometimes -- those were about the only reasons I went to Bethel, and they were toward the end of us living there.

Suzanne Yester said...

Hamlette!
I will definitely add the links at the end of the week, Thank you!

AND, Molten Java is still there (the ultra cool coffee shop I like!), but the whole plaza behind it is like an explosion of restaurants and other businesses. The used bookstore moved down the road, but it is still there! Very cool! Last time I tried to find the yarn shop it was gone though :-(

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Sounds wonderful! You had me at a bookstore reading, which sounds like the perfect way to enjoy poetry. Thanks!

Alyce said...

That sounds like a lot of fun. I haven't ever been to a live poetry reading... okay, I just remembered that my son's 3rd grade class put on a poetry reading a couple of years ago - but other than that I haven't been to one.

Suzanne Yester said...

You're right, Laurel, I am weak for bookstore readings period and this is the perfect way to enjoy poetry!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Alyce!
I bet your son's class was so cute reading poetry! This would be just the adult version! Thanks for sharing and stopping by!

Serena said...

I am so glad you added your post to the Mr. Linky. I have so many more poetry posts to catch up on now! :) Feel free to add the NPM2016 blog tour button to any or all of your poetry posts this month!

Lisa Mandina said...

Last year I did a big display about poetry in my library for April. Didn't do it this year, trying to mix things up. But maybe next year. Have a good week!
Check out my Sunday Post

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Serena! And thank you! I will add the NPM2016 blog tour button and a link to your great blog!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Lisa!
I love my library and keeping things fresh means more repeat customers! Thanks for coming by and sharing your link!

Tea Norman said...

I really liked your post about poetry readings. Have never attended one. Have enjoyed reading poetry on the internet.

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