My day is permeated with a vague sort of sadness, making it difficult to want to post a Sunday blog. What to do with sadness? With the sense that needed words will not come or won’t be enough? Only the pull of being a part of the Poetry Bloggers Revival Tour, and Dave Bonta’s generous weekly postings of a digest of poets’ blogs, has given me the impetus (and by this I mean grace) to push into it.
Yesterday was “Poets in the Park” day at Anderson Park in Redmond, Washington. I’ve attended this event for the past 3 or so years, and it’s always a sunny day full of poets, music, running into new and familiar faces, and ice cream. I appreciate the enormous effort that goes into planning and pulling off this event, and grateful to live in a community where poetry is celebrated.
I was totally captivated during the presentation by our state Poet Laureate, Claudia Castro Luna, whose heartbreaking reading sent me searching for tissue. She framed her topic around children, reading poems about her own children, reminding us that we each harbor a child within, then reading from her book, Killing Marias (Two Sylvias Press, 2017), in which each poem is addressed to a woman named Maria who has disappeared or been murdered in Juarez, Mexico. While she read about other children and women in other places and other times, it was impossible to not feel a connection between her words and the despair surrounding the wrenching separation of children from their parents being perpetrated by our government in the present moment.
I crossed the water there and back on the ferry, usually a joyful part of travel, instead I found myself thinking about isolation and being cut off from the metaphoric mainland. Words often fail me when I am sad, but this morning I am grateful for the abundance of political poetry, truly great poetry, that is being written and published today. I think of these poems by Castro-Luna, but also of Terrance Hayes’ Sonnets, and so, so many others. So many poets trying to raise a house together. So grateful to be a small part of that.