Friday night a good friend gave Daren and I two tickets to a program called "Prayers for the People." I was more than a little reluctant to go. In fact it took me all week to finally decide that maybe a little Carl Sandburg poetry never hurt anyone! Well, let me tell you I have not been the same since Friday night!
So, the program started with a half hour lecture from one of the English professor's here at UNK. Then a half hour "refreshment" time--they sold RUNZA'S and DIET COKE to help with the grand piano fund. Then around 7:30 they did a two hour program of poetry, music and comments. It was so great! There were plenty of Carl Sandburg poems. The highlight of the evening was Ted Kooser. He is a Poet Laurette, which until Friday night, I had no idea what that meant. He also won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in poetry. His poetry is amazing! Here's my favorite:
In his book "Weather Central" page 42,
A fenced-in square of sand and yellow grass,
five miles or more from the nearest town
is the site where the County Poor Farm stood
for seventy years, and here the County
permitted the poor to garden, permitted them
use of the County water from a hand-pump,
lent them buckets to carry it spilling
over the grass to the sandy, burning furrows
that drank it away--a kind of Workfare
from 1900. At night, each family slept
on the floor of one room in a boxy house
that the County put up and permitted them
use of. It stood here somewhere, door
facing the road. And somewhere under this grass
lie the dead in the County's unmarked graves,
each body buried with a mason jar in which
each person' name is written on a paper.
The county provided the paper and the jars.
I'm so addicted. I went to the library and checked out every book on Carl Sandburg and Ted Kooser. I then started a 700 page biography about Carl Sandburg. Why didn't I get exposed to this in high school? I probably did but just forgot. I seem to have missed all the good stuff!
I am planning on sending another of my favorite poems by Ted Kooser in my Christmas cards this year. It's called "So this is Nebraska." You'll have to wait to get your Christmas card to read his words.
I really want to try my hand at some poetry writing. It will have to wait for a quieter day. Don't see that in the next few weeks but maybe in a few weeks...