Anyway, last week at Rotary we were reminded by the Waterville librarian that it was National Poetry Month. So I thought to myself, "Alrighty. Next week I'm gonna use a happy dollar* to read a favorite poem to the group." Why? Why the hell not? Life is short and I'm 42 now and time is running out, so why not read a good poem?
* - a "happy dollar" is an opportunity at Rotary meetings for member, for the fee of one dollar, to command the podium (and the microphone) for the purpose of announcing something that makes them happy - such as an anniversary, a birth, a wedding, a sporting victory, a nice vacation, an accomplishment, etc.
Well, first I thought I'd pick "Jabberwocky", "Ozymandius", "The Tyger", or "The Charge of the Light Brigade." "The Raven" naturally leapt (or fluttered) to mind, of course, but it's a bit long for a happy dollar. But then the streetsweeper drove by my office and inspiration struck. I have long railed against the sanding of the roads (to dramatic excess) during the winter here. And then against the cleaning up of that same sand in the spring. So I wrote a poem about that madness instead and read it for a happy dollar. No word yet on whether I've been kicked out of Rotary. I've added a Poems page to the site, and put it up for your viewing pleasure. Titled, "Streetsweeper Sysiphus." Maybe more will follow.
(by the way, from junior high through law school, I wrote a lot of poetry, from serious attempts, to journal-like catharsis, to random silliness; it was a great way to kill time during boring classes at every level of education; during undergraduate school I even took a couple of poetry courses and had the distinctively poetic experience of having a graduate-student teacher commit suicide two thirds of the way through the semester - by shooting himself no less; it was truly tragic - he was a great poet, and a great instructor)