Sunday, July 29, 2007

Poet of the Month

August's Featured Poet: Jack Prelutsky
Jack Prelutsky (1940-) hooks kids on poetry. He honors their feelings and encourages them to think with formal and informal poetry that’s funny — frightening funny, scary funny, strange funny and everyday funny. He reaches kids without false sentiment or talking down, building vocabulary with laughter. Last year the Poetry Foundation officially named him the first Children’s Poet Laureate — a well-deserved honor.

The Bogeyman
In the desolate depths of a perilous place
the bogeyman lurks, with a snarl on his face.
Never dare, never dare to approach his dark lair
for he's waiting . . . just waiting . . . to get you.

He skulks in the shadows, relentless and wild
in his search for a tender, delectable child.
With his steely sharp claws and his slavering jaws
oh he's waiting . . . just waiting . . . to get you.

Many have entered his dreary domain
but not even one has been heard from again.
They no doubt made a feast for the butchering beast
and he's waiting . . . just waiting . . . to get you.

In that sulphurous, sunless and sinister place
he'll crumple your bones in his bogey embrace.
Never never go near if you hold your life dear,
for oh! . . . what he'll do . . . when he gets you!

Further Reading: Our library’s children’s section has 32 titles by Jack Prelutsky that make fun reading for parents with kids at their sides. Among them: The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders, Pizza the Size of the Sun, My Parents Think I’m Sleeping, New Kid on the Block.

Coming in September: Lucille Clifton

Content Developed by local resident and poet Leland Jamieson

Sunday, July 22, 2007

East Hampton Voices

The Poet Behind Our Poetry Posts
Throughout April 2007, National Poetry Month, our blog featured "poet of the week" entries. Poetry posts are now a monthly feature, owing to your comments (verbal and electronic) and something we never expected: clear demand to read and learn more about poets and their poems.

As you may have noticed in the closing byline of each post, the content is developed by Leland Jamieson, a local resident and poet in his own right. His published volume of poetry, 21st Century Bread is available at our library. Read for yourself poems about which critics say... "Fabulous capsules of feeling.... Admire the hand-flawlessly-fitting-in-a-snug-glove-tone of your lines...." "They Electrify...."

About the Author
Leland Jamieson, poet and author of 21st Century Bread: Poems, is a one-time performing arts center manager now living and writing in East Hampton, CT. A native of Miami, FL, he is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As managing director of Bushnell Memorial Hall Corporation in Hartford from 1978-85, he turned around a large operating deficit, and facilitated the conversion of the family-centered board of trustees into a modern, representative governing entity. He oversaw two major building reconstruction projects. He resigned to pursue other business interests until his retirement from business in 2000.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Poet of the Month

July's Featured Poet: Sharon Olds
Sharon Olds (1942–), a widely-read contemporary poet who has long taught at NYU and won numerous critical awards, in recent years used her celebrity status to make a political statement (as did Marlon Brando, declining an Oscar Award, Robert Hughes declining a White House Invitation from Lady Bird Johnson, and many others). She turned down Laura Bush’s invitation to read her poetry at a festival of 85,000 people. In a long detailed Open Letter she concluded, “I could not face... breaking bread with you... who represent... this war...its continuation...torture... I could not stomach it.”

The Unborn
Sometimes I can almost see, around our heads,
Like gnats around a streetlight in summer,
The children we could have,
The glimmer of them.

Sometimes I feel them waiting, dozing
In some antechamber servants,
half Listening for the bell.

Sometimes I see them lying like love letters
In the Dead Letter Office.

And sometimes, like tonight, by some black
Second sight I can feel just one of them
Standing on the edge of a cliff by the sea
In the dark, stretching its arms out
Desperately to me.

Further Reading: Olds, Sharon, Strike Sparks: Selected Poems 1980-2002; Olds, Sharon, The Wellspring (1996), both in our library.

Content developed by local resident and poet Leland Jamieson

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Friends of Lake Pocotopaug Launch Web Site

A Place Like No Other
The Friends of Lake Pocotopaug, a non-profit, all volunteer group dedicated to improving Lake Pocotopaug and its environs, recently announced the launch of their new web site. The site is chock full of information about the Friends' fundraising activities and their many coordinated efforts to help improve the water quality of our community's most precious asset.

We recommend adding this site to your list of web site favorites. Surf the site early and often to find out what's new on the lake front and to learn more about how to become a friend of a friend in need.