Friday, September 30, 2016

Visiting the Vermonts Humanities Council

Joan Black and Toni Eubanks

On Wednesday Toni Eubanks and Sylvia Manning returned materials to the Vermont Humanities Council in Montpelier.  Joan Black, Administrative Assistant, gave them a tour.  They met the Director, Peter Gilbert,
and told him how the NEK Wednesday Poets had begun through the gift of copies of Billy Collins' Poetry 180 and was still going strong.
Toni Eubanks, Barton librarian, in front of the Vermont Humanities Council, Montpelier.

Andy's birthday

Andy Bondor, 57, of Barton, painter and poetry maker.

Last week we celebrated Andy Bondor's birthday.   His wife, Patty, brought a candle shaped as 57, but he's already taken it off to cut the cake for everyone to have a piece.

In class we wrote sonnets, though Adrien was reluctant to use the word.  Instead, we wrote 3 quatrains with abab rhyme scheme ending with a rhyming couplet.  Regular meter, no more than 10 syllables.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Leland's Legacy, by Adrien Helm

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Leland’s Legacy

Lean, jeans-clad, plaid shirted
On a ladder silhouetted dark
Against a greying sky,
Leather gloved hand reaching through
A rung to reach the chimney,
Pointing up the mortar
Against the coming winter.

So you, word by word,
Bricks down the page,
Built this image for us
Gathered by candlelight
In the Library basement,
Hanging on your words
In the air, as surely
As you hung from that ladder
Doing the necessary next thing.

Your voice’s native lilt
Grounded in these
Firred and mapled slopes
Settled us. We saw through
Eyes of seven Vermont
Generations the virtues
Of place, of patience,
Of the inevitability of beauty.
You prepared us for winter.

On a crystalline blue
September day you
Climbed beyond our seeing,
Leaving the ladder of your poetry
Leaning against the solid
Reality of home.


[Adrien makes reference to the time when Leland Kinsey read his poems to the Wednesday Poets.]

Monday, September 26, 2016

And now we've lost David Budbill

In his poem, Dilemma, in Moment to Moment that I find on our Vermont authors' shelf in the belov├Ęd Barton Public Library, there's this first of two verses:
I want to be
so I can be
abut being

Famous he is.  Jim Lowe writes in the Times Argus that he was second only to Robert Frost for being well-known in Vermont.  Here's the link to that article:

Friday, September 16, 2016

Saddened by the loss of Barton's Leland Kinsey

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Leland Kinsey, 1950-2016

It was with genuine sadness that MaryLiz called me this morning to tell me of Leland Kinsey's death from lymphoma on Wednesday. I'm sure you share with me profound grief that his authentic voice of the Northeast Kingdom has been stilled. I cherish the moments he shared with us two summers ago.

"Once called the unofficial poet-laureate of the Northeast Kingdom, poet Leland Kinsey has died at the age of 66.
Kinsey was born in Barton. He was a seventh-generation Vermonter and farmer whose poetry was shaped by his life farming in the Kingdom and by the people around him.
Friends describe Kinsey as a masterful poet, a gifted teacher and an avid fisherman, not to mention a farmer, a printer and naturalist.
He spent most of his life working the rocky soil that his family farmed for generations. His dedication to that hard work, along with his love of that unique northern geography, come through in his poetry."