Thankful for Poetry

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by Ed Davis on November 23, 2016

It’s been a tough year for all of us. Along with life’s other challenges, this year’s election season was an especially bruising one for every American, regardless of where anyone stood along the political divide. Here at Thanksgiving, I believe that gratitude is the best attitude we can take toward life, along with humility. Hard as things get, I am always thankful for friendships in which I can truly be myself; a terrific, loving family; Nature in all her awe-inspiring manifestations; good work to do every day; and a meaningful spiritual life.

And poetry.

For the fifth year, Tecumseh Land Trust (TLT) and Glen Helen Ecology Institute are co-sponsoring the annual Solstice Poetry Reading on Friday, December 9, 7-9:00 p.m. at the Vernet Ecological Building, 405 Corry Street in Yellow Springs, Ohio. With the theme “Forever Glen Helen:  Wind, Water, Earth and Sun,” a dozen poets will entertain and amaze an audience that usually exceeds one hundred.

Krista Magaw came up with the idea for a warm, convivial evening of verse that many have woven into their annual holiday tradition. I like to call it a poetry reading for people who may not think they like poetry. Here’s why:

  1. Focused on the solstice theme, poems are always concrete—firmly grounded in the natural world—and instantly accessible. You won’t be left scratching your head.
  2. Because poets read for only 3-5 minutes each, listeners get the distilled essence of the best they can offer. No rambling. No prima donnas.
  3. TLT’s education committee insists (and rightly so) on diversity of age, race, gender and experience in its featured performers. You get to hear a lot of different voices in a short span.
  4. Folks really listen; they come ready to laugh, to be moved, to be healed and inspired by astonishing words and images. Distractions are minimal.
  5. We eat and drink together. After an hour or so, we adjourn to the lovely, atmospheric atrium to consume wine, cheese and cookies and digest the first act before the open mic segment, always full of surprises. Who knows who among the audience might be inspired to share a heartfelt poem in such a supportive atmosphere? (Maybe you yourself?)
  6. We appreciate each other in a new light. I can’t explain, but many have told me they absorbed the magic, the poetry mojo, before heading back out into December darkness.


A good friend just sent me this link from the Berkeley Wellness Letter on the Science of Gratitude:

Check it out and Happy Thanksgiving! Hope to see you at the Solstice Reading!


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