Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Light in the Piazza

Yesterday, I drove up to St. Paul to visit my favorite former student and dear friend, Peytie, who is about to start her first year of college. While I was in England, it was my friends that I missed more than anything else, and I especially missed Peytie. She is so smart, so talented, so full of positive energy, so full of amazing potential. There is no young person in the world—other than my brilliant and beautiful sons, nieces and nephews—who fills me with more hope and happiness. Yesterday she sang for me "The Light in the Piazza," from Adam Guettel's recent musical of the same name, and I was completely swept away. She also gave me the original Broadway cast recording of the musical, which is amazing. Guettel's music is somehow both catchy and complex. Although it owes a lot to the twentieth-century American musical tradition (I seemed to hear Barber and Copeland as well as Sondheim and Rodgers caught in the melodic eddies), it's completely fresh.

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Public Poetry at the Northfield Public Library

In early August, the director of the Northfield Public Library, Teresa Jensen, asked me to write a poem to be displayed prominently in the...