on reading poems
In the the thick grey haze of the drizzling late afternoon, eight students skipped their 3:30 class and drove to poetry reading at a state college. They sat quietly in the small square room, appreciating the low red chairs and trying to hold back the coughs and sniffs that would give evidence of their colds and interrupt the poet's speech. When she had read all she meant to a round of applause filled the room, and all those lovers of literature gathered around the table where the poet sat, signing copies of her published works with an inky flourish.
She waived the $12 fee and gave all eight of them free copies of her books. As the slick pen inscribed well-wishes on each title page, they thanked her and then returned outdoors into the grey rain. The slight sprinkles of water blew over them dappling their faces like dew. Back through the murky haze they drove, back to Geneva, back to the College on a Hill.
"Did you know that W. D. Snodgrass was a Geneva student before he was drafted?" someone asked. "Well, he was. That's his house right there across the street from campus. They are thinking of buying it and turning it into a a poetry building for Writing majors...Maybe then Geneva can have its own poetry readings."
Now wouldn't that be nice?