The Mountain Times

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Poetry as art

The Killington Arts Guild poets meet two times a year for the "Gather of Poets" in April and October in the Sherburne Memoir Library on River Road. Whether there are 20 or eight, the group gathers to read poetry - things they have written or read and enjoyed elsewhere.

The recent meeting last month was enhanced by the leadership of Laurie Wilder and contributions from Sally Curtis, Alice Sciore and Betty Little.

The experience is similar at the State level with the Poetry Society of Vermont (PSOV) which met recently in the United Congregational Church in Vergennes. Here the reading was done by the Poet Laureate of Vermont Sidney Lea and took two hours instead of one and the poems were all original, written by men and women across the state.

Vermont must be the most poetic state in the union. I have been in places where it was hard to find a poetry book at all, but PSOV had its own bookstore of books written by members and by Poet Laureate Sidney Lea.

The Poet Laureate, who had taught at Middlebury and Dartmouth, is now retired in Newberry in the Northeast Kingdom. Asked what he thought was the role of poets he said, "Poetry offers a medium through which different points of view, often in conflict, and be shared."

Ann Day a member of KAG was a prominent leader of the day's activities in Vergennes and Little participated in the PSOV Council to help with the planning. The society will be holding a business meeting in the fall at the Coolidge Foundation and will hold a reading at the Gables in Rutland probably in September.

Coming out of the building refreshed by new verse, food and drink participants were welcomed by a brilliant Vermont day. Before we headed back to Rutland our contingent (Betty Little and Betty Gaechter) passed through the historic town and saw the steep waterfall where levels were provided for picture taking. Then, on the way home, we were greeted by the most gorgeous panorama of mountains of which Killington was the obvious center.