Literary Hook: Local poets gather to recite love poems Feb. 9

February is the month of love. Some of the greatest and most memorable poems are love poems. One thinks of “Sonnets from the Portuguese” and Robert and Elizabeth Browning; the sonnets of Shakespeare; the wide love of Walt Whitman in “Leaves of Grass”; and the spiritual and metaphysical love of Rumi.

To celebrate poems that explore various facets of love, Barnes & Noble is hosting a poetry reading at 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 9. Pastor James Roberts and local author Barbara Santucci will join me in presenting an hour-long poetry reading. Please join us.

Here is an excerpt from a poem that will be part of the reading. “At Three Arch Cape” won the Peninsula Pulse (Door County) Poetry Award, judged by former Wisconsin poet laureate Ellen Kort. It was published again in Who Walks Among the Trees with Charity, by Wind Publications.

The poem is set on the Oregon Coast, perhaps my favorite place in the world. It is a love poem of both person and place.

At Three Arch Cape

Oceanside, Oregon. 7 a.m.

Low tide and empty beach.

Even the mist incandesces below

the Three Arches, their peaks

like primitive gods. A faint rainbow

forms around them perfectly

like a shrine. Last week’s measured life

with its compromises

like broken sand dollars dissolves.

On the great redwood’s limb

now bleached bone-dry, our initials

from last year. Who would guess

a couple married for a third of a century?

Today this beach

with its shells and parables is my companion,

and you, drinking coffee and reading newspapers.

You’re earthbound. I’m all tides and fog.

Only give me these dreamy mornings to keep.

Let me sing again the prayer that ends in Sanctus.

It is enough to count ourselves among the lucky.

And you in your black jacket

and blue stocking cap, waving.

From the Feb. 7-13, 2007, issue

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