Monday, June 09, 2008

Quickie for Poetry

I enjoyed this article by Jim Dwyer in the NY Times, with the tragic news about the end of Poetry in Motion. This was a program in which poetry was put up in the New York subway system. The article is worth a read, with anecdotes about people struck by the poetry they read while staring at the posting in a subway car. My favorite passing remembrence comes from the end of the article, from Alice Quinn, the executive director of the Poetry Society:

Ms. Quinn, who was the poetry editor of The New Yorker for 20 years, recalled the thrill of introducing transit riders to “Wilderness,” a poem by Lorine Niedecker, who lived in solitude on an island in Wisconsin and had an intense but troubled elationship with a poet in New York.

“This poem is just speaking to women who have had difficult relationships and the men who understood their part in that,” Ms. Quinn said. “I watched a woman memorize it from 14th Street to 96th.”

You are the man
You are my other country
And I find it hard going
You are the prickly pear
You are the sudden violent storm
The torrent to raise the river
To float the wounded doe

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