First of three days off, I got up this morning to get a new supply of cat food going for the critters. Key into car, turn, nothing… And again… nothing… Jump start via AAA does nothing so off it goes on a tow truck.
As I said to the guy, turns out today is the first day in quite awhile where I had a serious plan of doing something and now… no car. He was hopeful it was a starter problem and easily resolved.
The day passes and no car. Turns into one of the on-board computers. Turns out that while the repair place can get the part, only the dealer can program it and they recommend just taking it there. Jolly.
So I call Mom, who had been on standby part of the day to lend me a car. How would you like to go to Vermont to a poetry reading? She didn’t miss a beat – sure! So she headed out to my house. Pretty uneventful trip. Had our traditional get-lost moment. Had to stop and ask finally and the customer who helped me with directions must have been a contra dancer at some point because she quite confidently told me to go three-quarters of the way around the rotary. Finding a tiny school in a black rainy knot of housing wasn’t easy but we succeeded, only missing the first couple minutes. The place was very full!
Billy Collins was just great. He is funny and educating and tuned to his audience. I like his poems, because of his eye and his humor. His plain language reminds me at times of Frost and his topics are just as wide-ranging.
I liked one of his comments, as he had caught himself saying how many lines each poem was before he started reading. Some one asked him later about it during the question period and he laughingly allowed that he likes to prepare people for when the end is coming. He went on to say that the writer does want to get people to the end of the poem so there should be something there worth getting to. He described some of the roadblocks that make him give up on reading a poem, so you know that it’s good thing if you get him to the end!
To illustrate this idea (already well illustrated by several previously read poems) he read a poem that turned unexpected to be an elegy to his father, The Death of The Hat.
I didn’t stay to get my book signed but Mom and I found a nice little place in Manchester Center to have a bite to eat and then we headed home, full of words, our own and Billy Collins’s. Thanks Northshire Books for a great opportunity to hear him in person!