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. Arts & Artists

New Hampshire Poet Showcase
From NH Poet Laureate, Pat Fargnoli

At my request, The NH Arts Council is providing me with a link to the poet laureate page on their website in order that I may showcase poems by a number of New Hampshire Poets. The poets will be by my invitation only, but I plan to include both the famous and the less famous ....those who are seriously working at poetry craft from many areas of the state. A different poet and poem will be presented every 2 weeks.

Featured Poet: Katherine Solomon, Sutton

Katherine SolomonKatherine was born and raised in Portsmouth, and attended college in Missouri. After living in Bos ton and Toron to, she met her husband on a commune in West Virginia, and moved to the Bronx, and then back to NH with him. After years of raising two children and co-owning a business with her husband, she returned to school and earned an MFA from Vermont College in 1996. She was the grateful recipient of a NH State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship in 2000. She has been a member of the Skimmilk Poets for ten years, and has published poems in Green Mountains Review, The Worcester Review, the Spoon River Poetry Review, Color Wheel, and other journals and anthologies, and has a chapbook, "Tempting Fate," in the Oyster River Press chapbook series, "Walking to Windward." She taught for several years at the NH Community Technical College in Claremont, Springfield College, and at Elderhostel. She is currently working on a Sixties memoir.

Of her featured poem, Katherine writes:

When I received a postcard from friends visiting Tuscany, I propped it against my computer as a focus for daydreaming. The postcard showed a farmhouse, the kind that has often been turned in to a vacation rental under the agri tourism movement. A shed and a ladder were faintly visible at one side. I’d always wanted to go to Tuscany, and found I was inserting myself in to the postcard when I looked at it, standing outside below a second s tory window at first. Before long, in my imaginings, I was inside the second s tory room, looking out at the landscape from that window, my hair still long and blonde, held back with a hairclip. I never meant to write a poem, but I began to imagine one, a what-if poem: what if I really had been there, what if I dropped my hairclip, what if I climbed the ladder? The rest is.........well, more imagining. The poem developed as part of my daydreaming, and as I began to "hear" it, I gave myself an exercise: to extend the what-if’s until I found the s tory.

NEAR FIRENZE

If I had not been standing on that ladder with the sun 
just so on the yellow wall......if I had not 
been reaching 
to retrieve the hair clip 
that had slipped from my fingers a moment before 
as I leaned from an upstairs window in to this very 
postcard of a morning......and if that barrette
had not been caught by the wooden ledge below......
if you
had not called out my name 
from the shade of that shed, and raised your hand 
to show me where you s tood––only your hand visible 
as it moved in to stunning brightness......and if I had not  
clutched the red beam for balance 
as I turned, 
so that when I turned back 
to face the wall again, my eyes held the image of two 
hands: yours, fading as I blinked, above my own......

 
I might never have seen those four faint crescents 
in the clay: those marks like a few days 
from a calendar of lunar modes, those fingerprints 
left by someone with bigger hands than mine, 
someone long ago
who must have been the one
to swirl the stucco when the suncooked wall was new.  
He must have reached 
for balance too, and left his mark 
above the wood,  grasped the sill as I did when someone 
called to him.  Or was it the perfume 
of a woman's hair as she passed below that turned
his head?  Was he startled by an unexpected sound–– 

not a loud one: 
the prints aren’t deep enough––a single strand 
of music, some half-heard song, that brushed his cheek, 
tickled his ear, in its rush down the long colonnade
of time and sunlight?

 

 

 


Click here for a list of previous Poet Showcases

Last updated: April 14, 2008

 
 
 
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