Some people need to be hit on the head to appreciate the beauty of poetry. Me? I’ve always enjoyed the genre – the head hitting came late in the afternoon.
Karen Exiner has a wonderful little studio in downtown Elmhurst. Along with her own artistic talents, she is generous with her time and encouragement and is always willing to help others on their own artistic journey.
On Sunday afternoon, Karen hosted a poetry reading and book signing in her cozy studio for Elmhurst sculptor and poet Robert Pine. About 30 adults and children gathered in her gallery on an otherwise gloomy January day to enjoy light refreshments while listening to Bob read from his new childrens’ book as he took us on a poetic picnic. Bob set the scenes while asking the children attending questions about picnics and the moon, ants and Haiku, and we enjoyed an hour or so listening to his words from his book.
I was impressed by the children in attendance. When asked who knew what Haiku was, Yvonne’s daughter went into a brief but thorough explanation that we all could understand and then we caught its rhythm as Bob read some to us.
Another lass explained the phases of the moon preceding another reading. I found myself as impressed by the children in attendance as I did by the poet in our midst and considered myself as lucky as Paula’s friends at her poetry picnic.
I enjoy poetry and feel it should be read aloud, especially to children. Musical lyrics are poetry, as are the Psalms. You already know my appreciation of Robert Frost and someday I will tell you about Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, where we spent some lovely autumn days.
Bob Pine is donating a portion of the proceeds to the children’s room at the Elmhurst Public Library. Paula’s Poetry Picnic can be found online at www.publishersgraphicsbookstore.com. Scroll down until you see Bob’s book, which you can then click on.
I had an entire weekend of mishaps. It started when I fell onto a cushy couch at Elijah’s Coffee Shop on Friday with the speed of a tortoise, much to the amusement of friends watching my slow motion descent as my friend Marilyn looked up at me in shock, surely wondering how many dents she would sustain if I landed on her. I didn’t, but the swoosh as I landed sounded like the Space Shuttle landing and was a sight to behold.
My repeated attempts to get into my car, which I discovered hemmed in by a large SUV at church, made for a lively workout that nearly brought me to my knees in the church parking lot. An elderly lady waited patiently in her creamy Cadillac for my space, watching me ease up and down and around the car, squeezing my stomach in, removing my coat, then my scarf, tossing my Sunday School lessons onto the passenger side, hurrying back around to the driver’s side and standing on tip toes, then attempting deep knee bends, as I worked up a sweat trying to get into my car. I finally did and I thought of the passage of the camel going through the eye of a needle as I headed home, sure I had not arrived in heaven.
The knock on the head came just as the poetry event was finishing up. Somehow, a lovely painting in Karen’s gallery came tumbling down, breaking some glasses and landing on my unsuspecting pate. Not hurt, I laughed, shook the cobwebs out, and wondered about my misadventures and how very unpoetic they were.
Thank you, Karen, for inviting me to the lovely event, and thank you, Bob, for your poetry picnic on this gloomy January day.