Ursula Le Guin reading at the Black Box Theater, Milwaukie High School, Milwaukie, OR
I recently discovered that one of the local libraries (I am blessed to have four within 10 miles of me) has a monthly poetry series. This month featured Ursula Le Guin. Besides such great children’s books as Catwings and Wizard of Earthsea or The Left Hand of Darkeness and Lathe of Heaven for older readers, LeGuin states she was a poet first and always.
She read from her latest collection, Finding My Elegy, New and Selected Poems. The hour whizzed by as she read her poems. She told the audience that she felt bad that the students were going to have to hear her poems about aging. They laughed. She feels now the need to bear witness on people getting old (a new frontier). She’s 83. She refers to these poems as “reports from the frontier.”
In the style of my friend, Irene Latham, I am creating a found haikus from phrases from her poems as well as her thoughts about her writing
soldiers in the long dark
let the day come
as a poet
writing in metrical form
once a month an assignment
substance of the poem
ignorant of wars
I write sci-fi
I know the future
looking at the body
a failing parent
stone by stone
language of a rock
don’t have a discipline
ready to obey
fall in love
(on how she discovered Virgo in her 70″s)
LeGuin was someone who you wished you could listen to or be part of her writing group. Wednesday night was such a gift to hear.
An aside: I had a fifth grader get Catwings to check out and she said, “I have to read this every year.”
Poetry Friday is held at Booktalking.