July 31, 2015

Poets in the Park, July 25

The final Poets in the Park for 2015 featured Woodstock poets Alison Koffler & Dayl Wise, who had last read here in 2007. The weather spirits looking kindly on us, with just a few sprinklings of rain to remind us they were there.

Alison & Dayl did a group/team reading, alternating poems back & forth, for a most pleasant program of exchanged words, moving chronologically through their lives. Alison began with a memory of her grandmother with the poem “House & Garden;” Dayl’s childhood memory poem focused on eating lima beans, & another about his early longing for the Morton Salt girl, both from a series called “My Mother’s Pantry.” Alison’s pre-pubescent longing was for Charleton Heston in “The Planet of the Apes.”

“Val & Me” was Dayl’s poem about growing up among Italian grandparents. Alison’s poem “Inheritance” was about her parents letting her be an artist, & their own failed aspirations, & at an anti-war demonstration in Washington. Dayl read about getting his first Army haircut in 1969, then about being “In Country” first grim images of war, & invading Cambodia, & dreaming of home while sleeping in the jungle.

Unfortunately at this point my recorder failed & I can only offer general comments based upon my faulty memory. The poems became less grim with Alison & Dayl at one point reading a group poem that included short poems or pieces from each's work. One of Dayl’s poems was a cluster of unfinished, barely-started poems that actually worked quite well together. Alison read a poem about the trees of the Bronx & several portraits of their new dog acclimating itself to their home.

All in all a most fitting end to this series, adding to the great variety of voices, themes & styles that is the world of poetry around us. Hope to see you next year at Poets in the Park, deo volente (as my father would say).

The program this year was again brought to you with the help of funding from the Hudson Valley Writers Guild & funding & logistics by The Poetry Motel Foundation.

No comments: