I had an early start to my Saturday, but it was for a good reason. This morning I participated in the Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon where all 1,789 of Emily’s poems will be read in one day.
…sorry, one great day.
I arrived just before 7am and was warmly greeted by Jane and Cindy (the museums’ executive director and the director of interpretation and programming). I then signed in, and received my marathon number to wear:
In the entryway of the museum, they had a circle of chairs which were mostly occupied with participants and museum volunteers. I was really honored when they asked me to read the first poem and start the marathon. We went around the circle of chairs, reading the poems in order.
Last night I read her complete book of poetry, out loud to the dogs, for an hour. Partially to practice, but also to find any words that might be tough to pronounce (I didn’t want to be all struggly with trying to say a word in front of a group of people). While this word wasn’t hard to pronounce, it appeared several times in her poems and I didn’t know what it was since I’d never seen it before: bobolink. Apparently, it’s a bird that supposedly lives around here. Huh, who knew? Not me, and I’m blessed with superior nature skills gleaned from getting the Nature Merit Badge when I was a Boy Scout.
Anyway, I digress. While reading at the marathon, I came across a few tough words, but did just fine. I stayed for an hour and a half, and during that time the changing group, averaging around ten of us, read 180 poems (or, about 10%). It was a really wonderful experience. It’s one thing to just read Emily Dickinson’s work, but it’s another to spend a block of time immersed in it; reading her words and listening to her poems while sitting in her house. It was just really special. The event is still going on, and probably will be well into the night. If you can’t make it in person, the museum is live tweeting the marathon (@DickinsonMuseum), and people are talking about it at #EDmarathon.
Oh! Kari is in Seattle at the School House Craft conference. Click here to see a picture where she is giving the keynote speech. And, here’s another one of her on the How To Connect With Your Customers group panel. Before her speech, she emailed me a copy of what she wrote, and wow, it was great. I was hugely inspired by it. I think she’s going to post it on her website, so keep an eye out for that sometime soon.
Ok, enough dilly-dallying. Time to write (book, not blog)!
What I’m listening to: Buffalo Tom – Summer (live)