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Arts & Artists  

New Hampshire Poet Showcase
From NH Poet Laureate, Walter E. Butts

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 continue to showcase poems by a number of New Hampshire Poets. The poets will be by my invitation only, but I plan to include those who are seriously working at their craft from many areas of the state.

Featured Poet: Betsy Snider, Acworth

Betsy SniderBorn and raised in Ohio, Betsy has lived in New England for the past 35 years.  A retired attorney, she lives on Crescent Lake in Acworth.  Her midwestern roots and the rugged character of rural New Hampshire have informed her poetry.  Her poems have been published in Black Magnolias Literary Journal, the Cold River Review, Lynx Magazine, the Poet's Touchstone2008 Poet's Guide to New HampshireAnthology of New England Writers 2008  and  Love Over 60: 100 Women Poets Over 60.  When she is not swimming or canoeing on her lake, Betsy writes poetry and volunteers as a CASA Guardian ad Litem for abused and neglected children.

I like to write form poems occasionally, when the form seems to fit the occasion.  In "Old Home Day in Acworth, 2008," I used a pantoum. Pantoums seem particularly appropriate to capture an elegiac mood, steeped in nostalgia.  There is something about the repetition of the sentences and the way the poem circles in upon itself that fits the character of old home days.  In this instance, the steeple being removed added to the sense of both dislocation and the passing of time.  The steeple on the Acworth church was taken down for repair two years ago.  I am happy to report that it has just been restored to its rightful place, in time for this year's old home day in early August.

Old Home Day in Acworth, 2008

The old man stares at the steeple
supported by new beams on the green.
He remembers their wedding day
as he looks up into the empty blue sky.

Supported by new beams on the green,
the steeple sits amidst pie sellers and soap makers.
The old man looks up into the empty blue sky
that arcs over the recently shorn church.

The steeple sits amidst pie sellers and soap makers.
Tables of books line the walk by the library
that squats beside the recently shorn church.
Children play next to the clapboard school.

Tables of books line the walk by the library.
He remembers their wedding day.
Children play next to the clapboard school.
The old man stares at the steeple.

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Click here for a list of previous Poet Showcases

Last updated: September 3, 2009

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