Monday, May 5, 2008
Sunday on the Prairie
McKnight Prairie is greener now than it was when I visited two or three weeks ago. The pasqueflowers are now past their prime, but the prairie smoke is more plentiful, and I found a small patch of a tiny white flower that I think must be flowering spurge. Along the path, I ran into Carol, a librarian at Carleton who seven or eight years ago helped me mount a display in the library about ornithology in Rice County. The display included taxidermy from the Carleton biology department's collection, books and artwork, and archival material about Northfield's most famous ornithologist, Olin Pettingill (1907-2001), who taught at Carleton from 1936 to 1953. Out on the prairie, I asked Carol if she could identify the bird that was singing so exuberantly from somewhere nearby. She guessed, from its song, that it was a dickcissel. After a little more research, I'm pretty sure it was a sedge wren (the link includes an audio file of the song). Carol came impressively close on the identification.
My poem " Phrasebook " has been published online in Ergon: Greek/American Arts and Letters .
The frontispiece from Countee Cullen's The Black Christ and Other Poems (1929). Illustration by Charles Cullen. Click to enlarge. On...
Here's the poem I wrote and read for the student-organized International Day of Peace gathering in Bridge Square on Wednesday, Septembe...
In early August, the director of the Northfield Public Library, Teresa Jensen, asked me to write a poem to be displayed prominently in the...