“For what, we ask, is life without a touch of poetry in it? Hail Poetry!”
(from the Pirates of Penzance, sung sentimentally by the Pirate King, and then everyone joins in. As they should.)
Today is the day to sing with pirates and poets. Today is Take Your Poet to Work Day.
My poet this year is not a pirate but a miserable failure of a poultry farmer. Robert Frost.
Every day I readThe Writer’s Almanac, not just for the daily poem, but also for the almanac portion, the mini-biographies and recaps of historical events from a literary perspective. Here’s something I learned from those write-ups, Frost once owned 300 Wyandotte chickens.
Knowing nothing about chickens, I Goggled the breed and found this tidbit at www.raising-happy-chickens.com: “Wyandotte chickens: the Sophia Loren of the poultry world. Glamorous, showy, stately, a bit of a diva.”
You’re seeing Frost in an entirely new, slightly Italian-slanted light, aren’t you?
I highly recommend reading the entire entry on Wyandottes. They are described as noisy and bossy. The hens tend to be “broody.” Not a good breed for a poet. Perhaps Frost would have had better luck with a less diva-ish breed.
However, that time as a farmer in New Hampshire was not wasted. It later yielded “A Boy’s Will” and “North of Boston,” two collections mostly comprised of poems written either when he was farming or about that time in his life.
Although I have celebrated Take Your Poet to Work Day every year, this is the first time that my poet of choice gets to venture off the back porch. I am set to interview the president of Texas State Technical College in Waco, Rob Wolaver. It’s hard to schedule interviews in July, so I took the date that worked for him. It was only later that I realized Robert Frost would be joining us.
I’m not sure how it will go, bringing Frost to an interview. I’m also meeting my son for lunch; his summer job is painting houses. My husband is tagging along so he can meet with his favorite nonprofit, Talitha Koum. It’s sure to be a very un-New Englad-y day for Mr. Frost.
But like the Pirate King says, “For what, we ask, is life without a touch of poetry in it?”
Hail, Poetry, especially this one, my favorite by Frost. It appeared earlier this year at Every Day Poems.
Dust of Snow
The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.
P.S. Tomorrow–an update, with photos!