Hooray for Poetry Friday! I am hosting Poetry Friday next week, 9/19. Check back on Thursday for a preview and late Friday for the round up. It’s countdown to the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in New Jersey next weekend. You’ll find this year’s lineup at the festival website http://www.dodgepoetry.org/. In 2004, a performance artist shared the stage with the festival poets. Over the four-day festival, Benjamin Bagby sang all of Beowulf. In Old English. If you’re contemplating a yawn (or if you were put off by the Angelina Jolie movie), you must visit http://www.bagbybeowulf.com/video/orensanz_center.html We sat in a dark, cool tent on a late September night. The yellow lights on the stage were glowing. Bagby played the Anglo Saxon Harp and sang Beowulf’s story, with modern English on a screen nearby. Listening to the sounds was almost like gathering around a campfire to hear Beowulf’s adventures. I forgot about the words on the screen and tuned into the music of the language. That performance transported me. I went on to read poet Seamus Heaney’s translation of the epic poem. And picked up one of the many current Beowulf graphic (as in no shortage of blood) novels. This is what I love about Dodge. There is always a surprise, a poet you’d never heard whose words you connect to, a performer who shakes you out of assumptions like “Beowulf is boring.” Hope to see you at the festival next week!
Immerse yourself in Poetry Friday poems at Biblio File, hosting today at http://tushuguan.blogspot.com/2008/09/poetry-friday-is-here.html