Saugerties celebrated National Poetry Month throughout the month of April with various poetry readings and a curated poetry walk through the village. The month offered an opportunity for the public to experience how powerful and accessible poetry could be.
Visitors were asked to respond to poetry in the merchant windows. We received a wonderful response and some really fantastic poetry. Thank you to Bruce Weber for judging, to Inquiring Minds Bookstore for donating collections of poetry for the first place winner, and to artist Loel Barr for creating bookmarks for the winners.
Poet Michelle DeCicco wrote the winning poem in response to "In a Garden" by Amy Lowell which hung in the window of The English Garden.
IN A GARDEN
Gushing from the mouths of stone men
To spread at ease under the sky
In granite-lipped basins,
Where iris dabble their feet
And rustle to a passing wind,
The water fills the garden with its rushing,
In the midst of the quiet of close-clipped lawns.
Damp smell the ferns in tunnels of stone,
Where trickle and plash the fountains,
Marble fountains, yellowed with much water.
Splashing down moss-tarnished steps
It falls, the water;
And the air is throbbing with it;
With its gurgling and running;
With its leaping, and deep, cool murmur.
And I wished for night and you.
I wanted to see you in the swimming-pool,
White and shining in the silver-flecked water.
While the moon rode over the garden,
High in the arch of night,
And the scent of the lilacs was heavy with stillness.
Night and the water, and you in your whiteness, bathing!
© Amy Lowell, 1955
“In a Garden” as my gaze lowers from the moon to a different splash i am pleasingly surprised it is you my love as you step lightly into the pool the moonlight shines it’s white glow onto your body as you walk slowly the water ripples through the pool the iris bow their buds to you arching back, under the pulsating water you smile as you lower yourself into the moonlit pool © Michelle DeCicco, 2018
Poet Arabella Colton won second prize for her haiku in response to "Willow Poem" by William Carlos Williams which hung in The Willow Tree.
It is a willow when summer is over,
a willow by the river
from which no leaf has fallen nor
bitten by the sun
turned orange or crimson.
The leaves cling and grow paler,
swing and grow paler
over the swirling waters of the river
as if loath to let go,
they are so cool, so drunk with
the swirl of the wind and of the river—
oblivious to winter,
the last to let go and fall
into the water and on the ground.
© William Carlos Williams
SPRING WILLOW Feathery fingers Fill the sky. The old willow Always turns green first.
© Arabella Colton
Third place was offered to Sari Grandstaff who responded with a haiku to "She Walks In Beauty" by Lord Byron which hung in the window of Savor Spa.
SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
© Lord Byron
my mother’s lipstick
left on the wine glass – her shade
a little darker
© Sari Grandstaff
Thank you to Shout Out Saugerties, Love Bites Cafe, Cross Contemporary Art, the Village of Saugerties merchants and everyone that participated in the celebration of National Poetry Month.