Tag Archives: langston hughes

10 Questions for Alice Wootson

alice 3Alice Greenhowe Wootson grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She attended Cheyney University and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. After graduating, she married and remained in the Philadelphia area. She earned a Masters Degree in Education and Reading Specialist Certification and taught in the public schools. Alice is the award-winning author of ten romance novels and an award-winning poet; she has taught writing workshops for numerous groups. She is also a board member of the Philadelphia Writers Conference. Alice Wootson is an active member of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church of Philadelphia. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, Isaiah. http://www.alicewootson.net/

Interview with g emil reutter

The Interview 

alice 2GER: You have published a large body of work in the genre of Romance Novels. What drew you to this genre?

AW: I write romance novels because I like happpy endings.

GER: Some have described your novels as realistic romance full of suspense with out of the ordinary plot twists. How does this set you apart from others in the genre?

AW: I add twists to my novels because I don’t want the story to ‘unfold in a straight line’ and I don’t want the reader to reach the end and say ”I knew that’s what was going to happen.”  

BorderLove-2GER: You latest release is Border Love. Please tell us about the book?

AW:  ‘Border Love’ features Border Patrol Agents assigned to Brownsville, Texas located on the Texas/Mexican Border. My husband and I spent several winters in Brownsville and I found many interesting things about it. A highway just outside town has a tall chainlink fence running parallel to the road for miles and miles. Just on the other side of the fence is the Rio Grande River. If your arms  were long enough, you could dip your hand into the water. The river is also shallow along here so the most that would get wet would be your pants legs. No buildings are visible on the Mexican side and ranches are along the road on the US side with no buildings in sight. It would be easy to wade across the river, use the spaces in the fence to climb and be in this country. The fence follows the contours of the river so many areas are out of sight. Also many Mexican students commute to Texas Southernmost University which is within walking distance of the bridge they walk across. You can pay a small toll and walk across into Mexico. With all of this in mind, I let my imagination run wild and thought of various problems that could arise from the close proximity and easy access to and from Mexico. I did extensive research which I do for all of my books. Then I decided what problems to give my agents. Drugs are a bigger problem in Mexico than they are here. Some towns are subjected to nightly battles between rival gangs over turf. A lot of the problems are caused by people from countries to the south of Mexico. I also had to consider that the drug smuggling trade wouldn’t get a foothold here if not for the involvement of US citizens. Unfortunately all of the situations I use in the book are possible.

alice 1

GER: You have conducted a number of writing workshops. What are the benefits of workshops to those attending and to you?

AW: I do several writing workshops for groups of interested people. The basic one deals with the three elements necessary to write a story: character, setting and plot. I go into detail about the three and explore various options. If time permits, I have those attending develop the beginning of a story that includes all three elements. I pose questions along the way. (I’m a retired teacher so I can’t help it.  What’s in it for me? I enjoy helping people follow their dreams.)

GER: What advice would you give to emerging writers and poets?

AW: I always tell writers and poets, if you have an idea, write it because it will continue to bug you until you do. You don’t have to worry about forgetting it. It’s not going anywhere until you write it. Remember, the hardest part is starting. 

alice 5GER: Your poetry and short stories range from realism to the surreal. Do you approach these genres differently than your romance novels and does it reflect another side of Alice Wootson?

AW:  I don’t know why my short stories and my poetry are not only different from my novels, but they are different from each other. I think my personality is split three ways. I might read something or see something and an idea pops into my head and I have to get it down.

GER: You are firmly grounded in family and faith. How does this stability assist you in your writing?

AW:   I am blessed in many ways and I am aware of it. I have choices. I do not have drama in my life and I am thankful for it. I live comfortably in a nice house on a quiet street in a quiet, safe neighborhood and I have everything I need. I am aware that too many people aren’t as blessed as I am. I write because I want to, not because I have to. (Although, if I have an idea it will make me write it so it will leave me alone.)

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GER: Some poets shy away from public readings of their work. You have performed your poetry at many venues. Tell us how the interaction with an audience has assisted you in the development of your poetry?

AW: I am still a little uncomfortable reading in public, but I like to think people enjoy hearing my poetry and find much of it thought-provoking. I get positive feedback from those who hear it and I am grateful for that.

GER: Who are your favorite writers and poets?

AW:  A few of my favorite poets are old: Langston Hughes, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Gwendolyn Brooks, but I read whoever I have access to. I’m only going to name two authors: Beverly Jenkins and Catherine Coulter although I read many, many others. I’m on a romantic suspense kick right now and there’s a lot of authors out there.

GER: What is next for Alice Wootson?

AW: My next book released will probably be “Border Danger” because my editor already has it. “Border Danger” also features Border Partol agents stationed in Brownsville, but they are different agents facing different dangers. The two books aren’t part of a series, just wiith the same setting. I also have to get back to Nate, a secondary character from ‘Aloha Love” who tried to take over every scene he was in. He finally backed off when I promised him his own story. I started it and have to get back to it soon, but I’ve been working on submitting 4 other finished novels. I have to get back to Nate, though. I have a feeling he’s losing patience with me. I’m serious about this..

Alice Wootson at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Alice-Wootson/e/B001JRUHYM

You can read the poetry and fiction of Alice Wootson in The Fox Chase Review: http://www.foxchasereview.org/2008/22-AliceWootson.html http://www.foxchasereview.org/10WS/WootsonA.html http://www.foxchasereview.org/13WS/Wootson.html

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2nd-saturday-poets-1-21-12-guarnieri-reutter-readiing-017-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. (USA) https://gereutter.wordpress.com/

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10 Questions for Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon

DSC_0577 (1)Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon, PhD  (Cultural Anthropology), M.A. (Anthropology), MFA (Theater), Graduate Certificate) Women’s Studies, B.A. (Journalism); is an Associate Professor of Urban Theater and Community Engagement in the Theater Department at Temple University. The author of Through Smiles and Tears: The History of African American Theater (From Kemet to the Americas) (Lambert Academic Publishing, 2011); The Secret Messages in African American Theater: Hidden Meaning Embedded in Public Discourse” (Edwin Mellen Publishing, 2006) She is a recipient of the 2013 Associate Provosts Arts Grant; 2008 Seed Grant, 2003 Provost’s Arts Grant; 2001 Independence Foundation Grant, the 2000 PEW fellowship, and 1999, DaimlerChrysler National Poetry Competition. Williams-Witherspoon is a contributing poet to 26 anthologies and recipient of a host of awards and citations.

Interview with g emil reutter

Kimmika on the Porch

GER: You instruct a course at Temple University, Poetry as Performance. Please share with us the development of the course, student reaction and the benefits they receive from the course?

KWW: Poetry As Performance (TH1008) was one of the first courses that I wrote for the Theater Department at Temple. I think I started teaching the course in 1996. I had always called what I did as a performance artist Performance Poetry—combing spectacle and the theatricality of theater with original poetry recitation. By that time, Spoken Word was just coming into being, but the Spoken Word genre was a completely different performance style limited to Slam competitions and three (3) minute “spits” constructed to solicit the most audience response.  My work as a Performance Poet was more akin to poetic monologues and dramatic vignettes. So I convinced my colleagues in the Theater Department at Temple that a class like Poetry As Performance would get actors away from notions of the Hallmark-card style of performing poetry and could capitalize on the youth Rap/Hip Hop/Spoken Word movement that was emerging, while still training students in the elements of theater and performance studies.

In 2006, in addition to my course at Temple, I got special permission from my Dean (then Concetta  Stewart) to  pilot the course at Bryn Mawr College when they wanted to begin a similar course offering there. Each class teaches poetry style, performance technique and community-based learning culminating in free performances each semester on WRTI- radio, now TUTV and in Randall Theater for the university and North Philadelphia community.

My classes, first Performance Poetry and then Poetic Ethnography, TH 2008 have been wildly popular with the student body and not limited to just theater students. In any given semester, at least two thirds of the class come from English/Creative Writing programs, Dance, Tyler school of Art, biology, communications and the like. Alumni students and senior scholars have even come back to audit the course when they couldn’t fit it in to their schedule before graduating. I have former students replicating what I’ve taught them in public schools and community programs across the nation—keeping young people engaged in theater, poetry and the written word—even at time when so much of k thru 12 access to the arts is consistently (and strategically) being cut back and curtailed.

new_photo_AIPF_2_Kameka_WilliamsGER: Your history in the theater and poetry are somewhat entwined. Have the different art forms interacted for you and if so how have they impacted each form?

KWW:  I have been very fortunate, Although I fell in love with words and started writing poetry when I was about 8 years old (really corny stuff like: Dear Lord God above/bless my boyfriend/and preserve our love…) I had no idea what love was and my father would have killed me if I really had a boyfriend at eight years old but you get the point. A library aide all through my public school career (Gompers Elementary, Beeber Junior High and the Philadelphia High School for Girls) I had unlimited access to books and I read all the time. I feel in love with rhyme, and rhythm and meter and because I grew up watching my mother reciting religious prose pieces in church, I knew the value in authors performing original work.  I stumbled onto theater quite by accident. I was living in Houston and couldn’t find work in my field as a journalist but because I had won a bunch of awards  at the Barbara Jordan Debate and Forensics Competition in Houston the year before, I could get a job in theater. Acting and directing in other people’s plays made me want to write my own…and the performance poetry morphed into playwriting.

I tell people that poetry is the language I am most comfortable in and playwriting is my method of social activism. I am no August Wilson, but like Wilson, I think my plays have a poetic quality and I know that playwriting has greatly enhanced my ability to capture character in my performance work. Couple all that with my doctoral training as a Cultural Anthropologist and I bring a unique skill set to theater and performance studies as a hybrid researcher, scholar, performance artist,, playwright, poet.

GER: Over the years you have received numerous honors and grants in the arts. How have these impacted your career in poetry and theater?

KWW: That’s a little tricky. You’re right, I’ve won some major awards in writing over the years for my work as a Performance Poet and as a playwright…the Venture Lifetime Achievement Award. (2014); The Miriam Maat Ka Re Award for Scholarly research (2013); The Spoken Soul 215 Award. (2013); “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the National Black Arts Spoken Word Tour; (2011); 2010 the Kennedy Center “Distinguished Achievement” Award for Project Co-Conception, Playwriting and Performance. of “SHOT” at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival; the 2000 PEW Charitable Trusts Arts Grant for scriptwriting; the 1999 Winner of the DaimlerCrysler National Poetry Competition; the 1999 Winner of the DaimlerChrysler Regional Poetry Competition (Philadelphia); 1996 PEW Exchange Residency Grant; 1995-96 Scholars Fellowship from the American Antiquarian Society; the 1993-94 PEW Playwright Residency Exchange Grant; the 1991 American Poetry Center Performance Poet Residency Grant; the 1990 American Poetry Center Residency Grant; the 1990 “Playwriting Fellowship” from the Theater Association of Pennsylvania; and the 1987 Award in Literature from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. And that’s just a few of them. 

You would think that having won as many awards as I have over the years that my position as a Performance Poet and Playwright in the city would be secure but that didn’t happen.  Like everybody else, I struggle to get my work performed and published and have had to resort to sometimes, producing my own work. Even when I won the PEW in 2000, I thought…now, the theater community has to recognize me and my work; but that didn’t happen! Now, some people might  say that it’s because I am an African American female…I don’t know…perhaps! We don’t really talk about the inequity of arts production and access to resources in this city so I don’t know if my career trajectory would have been different if I wasn’t a woman of color who writes about her community? But I do wonder sometimes if a white male had done the amount and variety of things that I have done, what would have been different?….Hmmm.

 

kimmikpose

GER: You have been active in the poetry community of Philadelphia for many years. What changes have you seen in poetry in the city and what advice would you give to emerging poets?

KWW: Oh so much has changed. On any given night but particularly on Monday nights at the Bacchanal you could hear Will Perkins, Eugene Howard, Lamont Steptoe, Bob Small, Rosemary Cappello, Gerome Robinson, Etheridge Knight, Mbali Umoja, Rikki Lights and so many more. Now, there are only a few of us left.

Those poets didn’t sound alike like–they do now. Each poem and each poet was different! There was a vibrancy and an urgency to record what was happening in the world around us poetically. Now when I’m asked to judge competitions, so many of the young people sound the same—there’s so little nuance. With slam competitions, moneymaking has become a motivating force in the work and after awhile, some of the work can seem formulaic.

We didn’t make money with poetry when I first started. We all had day jobs. That wasn’t the goal. Sure some of us made a little money along the way; but that wasn’t the end all, be all of why we wrote and performed. We wrote because we had to…we were called to…we needed to—even if no one else heard us but one another. There was no YouTube or SLAM winner-take-all-purses. We wrote and performed together each week because the muse demanded that we capture that moment, that feeling, that character or that event so it wouldn’t be lost to forgotten memory.

secret messagesGER: The Secret Messages in African American Theater: Hidden Meanings Embedded in Public Discourse was released in 2006. Please share with us the development of the book?

KWW: Secret Messages is the published version of my dissertation. I did my field research at Freedom Theater during Walter Dallas’ tenure as Artistic Director. That work is all about the development of African American Theater, the inequity of African American arts production and their limited access to resources—unless, of course, those Black arts organizations produce work that appears benign or reinforces social stereotypes.  That work also talks about the necessity for most artists of color to develop a hidden transcript or seemingly playing out the expectation of blackness in their public performance while infusing their art with code words, African retentions and cultural references that still have meaning to their community. In this way writers, actors and musicians can infuse their work with dignity—even when forced to play out notions of the Black coon, thug, “gangsta”, mammy or angry Black woman.

GER: Her praying knees: my mother believed that prayer held the world together was published in the Other Side. Tell us about your mother, her impact on you and the belief that prayer can hold the world together?

KWW: Well Mommy got it from her mother, Mama Curry—Beatrice Charlow Curry. Every day at 12 o’clock, no matter what you were doing, every body had to come in, kneel down and pray—and after the prayer, old to young (even the mailman if happened to be there at the time) we all had to recite the Lord’s prayer in unison. As a result, my mother was a praying woman. I still recite the prayer that she taught us, that her mother taught her and all of my children know it as well.  Prayer was a very important component of my upbringing knowing how to pray has gotten me through more difficult times and situations than I care to think about. Prayer taught me to have faith. We all need to believe in something–some higher power. I wouldn’t presume to tell people what that higher power should be; but for me, I value the time that I can talk to God and the ancestors.

Now,  as an adult, as a wordsmith and as an anthropologist, I also recognize that prayer is a component of word power—some West African cultures call it Nommo (power of the word). Praying, the repetition of the words in your prayer becomes a power in of itself. The repetition of the prayer becomes a mechanism for actualization—the word, the prayer can eventually call the thing into being. Just like incantation or prescription, the doctor tells the patient to take this medicine and it will make you fell better. The patient re-reads the prescription each time they take the medication and believes. Pretty soon the patient feels better—even when the medication is a placebo!

Not only did my mother Lillian Curry Hawes, teach me about prayer and faith and words and believing; but she also taught me to love books and learning and she is the reason why I perform. Both my parents grew up in the segregated south. While my father had to quit school after the sixth grade because he was the oldest son of nine children and had to go to work to help his parents, my mother loved school and learning. One of eleven children herself, in order to go from one grade to the next in the segregated schools of Dade County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the 1920’s, each child had to be able to recite a body of literature appropriate to that grade—the Preamble to the Constitution, the Gettysburg Address, the books of the Bible. Mommy knew so much history and literature committed to memory—she made you want to learn it too.

She knew almost all of the Harlem Renaissance Writer’s work by heart and she would recite poems and prose as she worked around the house. You could not come downstairs for breakfast on Sunday morning, while Mommy cooked both Breakfast and dinner at the same time (so that dinner would be ready when we got home from church)  and hear Mommy reciting James Weldon Johnson’s The Creation, stirring grits at the stove and not be affected. She also wrote these wonderfully profound Christian prose pieces that she would preform at church for Women’s Day, the pastor’s anniversary and conventions and I would watch the congregation sitting on the edge of their sits, listening to her recitation, enthralled with every word—and I wanted to be able to do that! Not only was my mother an incredibly warm and godly individual but also she was a phenomenal orator and performer all on her on. Mommy has been gone since 1992. I miss her every day and I still perform one of her pieces called The Bible that she wrote when she was a little girl.

smiles and tears

GER: Through Smiles And Tears: The History of African American Theater was a follow up to The Secret Messages in African American Theater. How does this book differ from the first?

KWW:  Through Smiles and Tears is an expanded history of African American Theater beginning with a discussion of performance traditions in Ancient Kemet (Egypt) , southern and West Africa through to the Americas. The book covers plantation performance, African American contributions to dance, minstrelsy, serious drama in the early 1900’s, the anti-lynching plays and African American women playwrights of the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, the Little Theater Movement, the Black Arts Movement (BAM) through to the millennium and August Wilson.

KWillams-Witherspoon 1GER: What poets do you read and what poets have inspired you?

KWW: Again, because I was a library aide all through my public school years, I worked in the school libraries before school, during lunch and free periods and sometimes after school. Books were my friends growing up so I read all the classic writers but were drawn to narrative story poets like Clement Clarke Moore; Edgar Albert Guest and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. But my favorite poets were Paul Lawrence Dunbar, James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes, and Robert Haydon. The people who have inspired me were the women who let me be part of their circle here in Philly—Sonia Sanchez, Toni Cade Bambara, Kristen Hunter Lattany, and Sharon Goodman. Etheridge Knight was wonderful, E. Ethelbert Miller encouraged me when I would give him rides to 30th Street Station when Sonia had him  come up every week to teach a workshop to us all. As a playwright, Al Simpkin taught me a lot. John Allen was a warm and wonderful man, Ed Shockley recommended me for the MFA program and then my mentors Robert Hedley and Tom Patterson have been so instrumental to me in my career in the academy. I have been very fortunate!
boom

GER: Please tell us about Countdown to Boom?

KWW: Count Down to Boom was a dance drama that I wrote and co-directed which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, where four little Black girls, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Denise McNair and Cynthia Wesley were killed in one of the most horrific acts of domestic terrorism perpetrated against Blacks during the Civil Rights Movement. Count Down to Boom: We All Fall Down was the second collaboration with another Temple mentor, Dr. Kariamu Welsh, that premiered  in April 2013 at Temple University’s Performing Arts Center, as part of the second Philadelphia International Arts Festival (PIFA) thanks to the generous support of Dean Robert Stroker of the Center for the Arts, a Vice Provosts’ Arts Grant, and the departments of Dance and Theater. Count Down to Boom was subsequently remounted at the State Museum in Harrisburg, in February 2014 for Black History Month sponsored by Life Esteem, Inc., The City of Harrisburg Office of Arts, Culture and Tourism; “Some One to Tell It To”, the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts; the State of Museum of Pennsylvania, the American Literacy Corporation, Penn State Harrisburg Outreach, the Subcommittee of the Diversity Education Equity Committee, The Nathaniel Gadsden Writer’s Workshop and Giant Foods. 

facfellows_kimmikaGER: You perform in theater and you perform your poetry at various venues. Do you have favorite venues and what benefits do you receive when interacting with audiences during your performance?

KWW: I have had favorite moments performing. Performing  on the stage of the Majestic Theater in Detroit in front of 4000 audience members was a rush that I’ll never forget. Performing in London in a bookstore in Covent Gardens and at the base of the Washington Monument during the National Black Family Reunion was one for the record books.  When my play, A Woman’s Choice opened at the Cannon Theater in Beverly Hills I thought I had made it! You know…big or small, I love what I do. There have been some monetary benefits along the way but in real life I perform because I have to! The poetry keeps me alive. It demands to be written and it demands to be heard…I’m just the vehicle. I’ve always said, if I couldn’t be a poet, I would probably be a preacher. I don’t know. I see the world this way…as poetry, and songs and stories. My first language is poetry. I write because if I didn’t I don’t know if I would be able to breathe. And I guess I perform for the same reason I still pray…everybody has got to have something to believe in!

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You can read the poetry of Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon in The Fox Chase Review at these links: http://www.thefoxchasereview.org/s14-kwilliamswitherspoon.html http://www.foxchasereview.org/11June/KimmikaWilliams-Witherspoon.html

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Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1?ie=UTF8&field-author=Kimmika+Williams-witherspoon&search-alias=books&text=Kimmika+Williams-witherspoon&sort=relevancerank

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gg emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadlephia, Pa. (USA) https://gereutter.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

Poetry in the News

news

Black History Month Musings: on Langston Hughes and the ‘Best New Poets’

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terry-m-blackhawk-phd/black-history-month-musings_b_4751058.html

 Poet Dana Gioia reconciles art and religion

http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2014/02/12/poet-reconciles-art-and-religion/

 In ‘Poetry,’ The Story Of An African-American Military Family

http://www.npr.org/2014/02/08/272654805/in-poetry-the-story-of-an-african-american-military-family

Poetry Profiles: New Directions

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/10/poetry-profiles-new-directions/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

Review: Poetry Gone Wild: Psychedelic Norway

http://www.thelmagazine.com/newyork/poetry-gone-wild-psychedelic-norway/Content?oid=2346022

Hinged on poetry

http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/hinged-on-poetry/article5673540.ece

Langston Hughes/Robert Frost

Charles Loudon* – The Fox Chase Review 

April is National Poetry Month in the United States and I have selected some of my favorite poets to share for this special month. These reviews might be called mini-reviews, short introduction and a sampling from the book. There are always those who announce the impending death of poetry as an elitist art form that cannot survive tough economic times, I do not concur. Poets during these times forged in the working class rise to the occasion and bring the soul back to poetry. It is during these times that poetry moves from the cocoon of the universities back to the streets for poets to reflect the emotions of the people and give hope and truth to those who seek it out. 

Selected Poems of Langston Hughes, Vintage Classics, 297 pages.

I am never quite sure who influenced who more, Langston Hughes or the early Jazz and Blues artists of the former century. Hughes wrote with a lyrical intensity that remains unmatched today. His blues poems, love poems and polemical poems lift from the page as you read through this selected poetry collection. 

From Young Gal’s Blues

I’m gonna walk to the graveyard/ ‘Hind ma friend Miss Cora Lee. Gonna walk to the graveyard/ ‘Hind ma dear friend Miss Cora Lee/ Cause when I’m dead some/Body’ll have to walk behind me.

I’m goin’ to the po’ house/ To see ma old Aunt Clew. Goin’ to the po’ house/To see ma old Aunt Clew. When I’m old an’ ugly/ I’ll want to see somebody, too.

From A Black Pierrot 

I am a black Pierrot: She did not love me, So I crept away into the night/And the night was black, too.

I am a black Pierrot: She did not love me, So I wept until the dawn/ Dripped blood Over the eastern hills/ And my heart was bleeding, too.

I am a black Pierrot: She did not love me, So with my once gay-colored soul/Shrunken like a balloon without air, I went forth in the morning/ To seek a new brown love.

 Early Poems by Robert Frost, Penguin Classics, 274 pages

 Frost did not receive recognition until traveling to Europe, embraced by Pound, his first work was published. The Farmer/Poet from New Hampshire became Poet Laureate. A subtle poet, Frost brings the reader into his life and thoughts using a wide range of lyrical, sonnet and narrative forms.   

From The Mountain 

The mountain held the town as in a shadow/ I saw so much before I slept there once: I noticed that I missed stars in the west, Where black body cut into the sky. Near me it seemed: I felt it like a wall/ Behind which I was sheltered from a wind. And yet between the town and it I found/ When I walked forth at dawn to see new Things/ Were fields, a river, and beyond, more fields.

The river at the time was fallen away/ And made a widespread brawl on cobble-stones; But the signs showed what it had done in spring; Good grass-land gullied out, and in the grass/ Ridges of sand, and driftwood stripped of bark.

I crossed the river and swung round the mountain. And there I met a man who moved so slow/ With white-faced oxen in a heavy cart, It seemed no harm to stop him altogether.

From Into My Own

One of  my wishes is that those dark trees/ So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze/ Were not, as ‘twere, the merest mask of gloom/ But stretched away unto the edge of doom.

I should not be withheld but that some day/ Into their vastness I should steal away/ Fearless of ever finding open land/ Or highway where the slow wheel pours the sand.

*Charles Loudon lives on Cottman Avenue in Philadelphia, he is not sure if he lives in Fox Chase or Burholme depending on who he speaks with. He is frequent visitor to the Ryerss Library