April 12, 2016

Saturday, April 3, 2010

National Poetry Month 50 State Tour -- Connecticut

Connecticut -- the fifth state -- joined the union on 1/9/1788. That means we've got a lousy 2 for 5 record on state poets laureate, people. Because Connecticut (like PA and NJ) doesn't have one.

The "Constitution State" had a P.L. from 1985 until 2009. Their most recent state poet laureate was John Hollander.

And then Connecticut just kind of forgot. I'm guessing somewhere in Hartford, someone's got "Hire New Poet Laureate" on the bottom their to do list.

But "Vacant"? That makes the Poet Laureate position sound as appealing as an airplane bathroom.

J. D. McClatchy is a worthy Connecticut poet. His book Hazmat was nominated for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize.

Before I get too depressed about the East Coast's lack of poets laureate, here is a poem by John Hollander.

An Old Fashioned Song
by John Hollander
No more walks in the wood:
The trees have all been cut
Down, and where once they stood
Not even a wagon rut
Appears along the path
Low brush is taking over.

No more walks in the wood;
This is the aftermath
Of afternoons in the clover
Fields where we once made love
Then wandered home together
Where the trees arched above,
Where we made our own weather
When branches were the sky.
Read or listen to the rest of the poem here.
Let's drive north to Massachusetts next on our National Poetry Month 50 State Tour.
No poet laureate position, so Mass joins Connecticut on my wall of shame. But we'll stop by for a visit with Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

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