The Poets Laureate of the United States and the United Kingdom came together in a historic joint reading at the Library of Congress in a program called ?Poetry Across the Atlantic,? sponsored by the Library, the Poetry Foundation and London?s Poetry Society.
What I?m struck by in such settings is how, just as reading a good novel can stoke my internal desire to write great prose, so too can poetry readings stir within me a need to commit lofty verses to paper.
Donald Hall and Andrew Motion each elicited laughter, but they were deeply moving in other ways.
I struggled mightily when Mr. Hall read about his wife?s bout with leukemia and her ultimate passing. And I made it through almost the entire program with relatively dry eyes until the final line read by Mr. Motion, who told of straining unsuccessfully to hear his father?s dying word.
It?s a happy state of affairs when one?s place of work enriches you ? not monetarily, but emotionally.
(Image: Poets Laureate Donald Hall and Andrew Motion share a moment before their joint reading. Photo by Michaela McNichol, Library of Congress.)
The Washington Post covered the event as well. And I swear that I wrote the ?Spanning the Pond? headline last night, before I saw their own headline! (ADDENDUM: I just read Bob?s story in full, and darned if the tears aren?t welling up again!)