Monday, September 30, 2019

Joy Harjo Read September 1994 for the Distinguished Poet Series

During earliest experiences with computers I still used my manual typewriter.  However at the Arts Commission I entered information for contributors’ bios, I tried for brevity, and entered other necessary material, captions for end-pages photos, during my 1994-1996 grant from the Lila Wallace – Reader’s Digest Foundation.   

Dorothy McCuistion and I co-edited and co-designed the compilation and each broadside distributed at the Distinguished Poet Series readings. Dorothy, our Tacoma Arts Commission representative for the reading series project, arranged for the compilation to be included at the United States Library of Congress.

One day I visited the Tacoma Arts Commission to assemble the Distinguished Poet Series broadside compilation. Dorothy McCuistion and I approached stacks of broadsides around a large table. The broadsides remained from those distributed free at the readings, we printed broadsides ahead for remaining readings so these too could be included in the limited edition compilation.

The city scheduled us in a room just off the city council chamber at the Municipal Building, where the table was large enough for our broadsides. We placed the broadsides in an order we felt might best set off the art or meaning of the poem. As we planned, we decided to use my idea that the broadsides should be placed on facing pages. The first poem in the compilation is Grace by Joy Harjo.

The other day I happened to meet Elaine Briden at the Tacoma Public Library. Elaine participated in the project as an opening reader for Duane Niatum.  The framed Broadsides also appeared in April, 1996, at the Handforth Gallery for National Poetry Month. We reminisced about the reading, twenty-five years ago, in 1994, by Joy Harjo.  And Joy Harjo, this September, gave her first reading as United States Poet Laureate.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Lines Regarding A Washington State Fair Exhibit

Lines at the Grange

Immediate is the shock
Of mask and white robe
Inside the old fairgrounds barn.
The shock fades, ambiguous:
Applique on the robe
A crusader red cross.

In the rodeo parade riders
Drape behind the saddle
A bright-colored cloth.
At a place in a journal
From 1995, I visited in summer
Daffodil Arabians at the arena.

On one page in the journal,
Across the street from
The poetry reading,
A helmeted knight
Holds the tour sign
For the Pythian Temple.

The mask and white robe
Continue to shock.  Others
Turn to one another to say things.
Did white robes come from
The linen closet?  Or from
Drama costuming? 

Or from:  maybe, we see, from:
The corn field.  Near grange exhibits
The Scare Crows are various and many.
A bright jester has
The purple ribbon.

On the Merry-Go-Round
One horse has face mail.

White robes and masks
Were a horrific perversion
Of a knighthood fascination. 
Armor at the 1905 Pythian Temple.
A corn field is not so far away
From a provincial seaport.

An early Crusader
Was Saint Francis of Assisi. 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Sommardag I Kangasala

front right Linnea

Sommardag I Kangasala, by Zacharias Topelius, is a beloved song about beautiful Finland.  It is a song of the wonderful view from a high place and is the song of a bird. 
Top - Leonard Svedberg

I include smaller photos from a larger photo of the choir at Hoquiam.  One shows Leonard Svedberg, one shows Linnea on the right beside her friend Astrid Svedberg, daughter of Leonard Svedberg. 

With them are three cousins of Linnea’s mother, Olga, Wilma, and Tyra Malm, Olga and Tyra wear scarves as headbands.  Also shown are Elmer and Carl Gord.

At an earlier Spice Drawer Mouse blogpost are photos in Hoquiam of the Masonic Hall and of The East Side Hall, the center of activities for the Songfest in 1924.