Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Poetriots On Parade

The Imagine Nation of the Peoples Republic of Poetry invites everyone to a Poetry Picnic at the Cobourg Ecology Garden on the afternoon of Canada Day, July 1.

Cobourg Poet Laureate, Ted Amsden, will lead the way in the Canada Day Parade. Just as political dignitaries get convertibles to wave to the crowd, so also the poetical dignitaries of the Imagine Nation. Our Cobourg Poet Laureate will be ensconced in a convertible Porsche, a vehicle that is a clear demonstration of poetency: power, grace, presence.

He will be followed by a pick-up truck holding a sound system blasting out Johnny Tillotson’s early 60’s hit, Poetry In Motion. Rockin’ behind the truck will be a contingent of poets and poetry lovers bearing poetic placards of unbridled word wit.

Canada Day Parades across this great nation contain bands, acrobats, dancers, musicians, float artists, etc. For no known reason, poetry and poets have never been in such a Parade. Cobourg will be the first. From the prosaic to the poetic.

The poetry shelves of our libraries are the least visited shelves. Music concerts, art gallery openings bring in the people, but not poetry readings regardless whether the venue is a backroom bar or faux salon. If people don’t come to poetry, then poetry must come to the people. Poetry takes to the streets.

Poetry began as an oral art. Narratives were passed down from generation to generation, and communities noticed who had The Eloquence. Cobourg has been an exemplary community in recognizing the place of poetic eloquence within the community. The Cobourg Ecology Garden provides the serenity of a natural environ meant for oral poetry presentations.

Cobourg’s first Poet Laureate, Eric Winter, (now Emeritus) will read his poetry, which  weaves words with both the intricate delicacy and strength of spider webs. It captures your attrention. Mr Winter has been the seed bed for the growth of poetry in this community.

Cobourg Poet Laureate, Ted Amsden, will also be performing at the Garden. Mr Amsden’s poetry is not your regular rhyme schemer. His poetry is enriched with his animated, oral performance, and his ability to adopt performance to whatever any particular subject requires.

Linda Hutsell-Manning, renown for her children’s stories, has made a solid claim as an adult novelist with the recent publication of That Summer In Franklin. Her poetry has a wide range of presentation, from child-charm to adult muscularity that she handles with wise adroitness.

There will be an open mic for any other passing poets in the community. Cobourg’s poets will also be selling their books. A bard table will be set up next to the Cobourg Ecology Garden for the Bard Sale.

The great Persian poet, Omar Khayyam, (1048–1131) penned the following well-known quatrain:

"A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread--and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness--
Oh, Wilderness were
Paradise enow!"

Almost a thousand years later, his verse remains ensconced in the hearts of romantics everywhere, So, come to the Poetry Picnic at the Cobourg Ecology Garden, an oasis of wilderness in our urban sprawl. Spread a blanket. Bring a flask of fluids. Bring apples, oranges, celery, olives, bananas, all sorts of vegetation to eat. But most of all; bring your Imagination.