Wednesday, December 9, 2009

FreeVerse: There Were No Signs (Layton)

Was at our annual luncheon for all the library staff today. There were lots of lovely little moments, lots of great conversation, lots of laughing. It's a group of very intelligent people, so the conversation is often quite lively. We're all very passionate about public libraries and their place in the community, which means there is at least one thing we all have in common.

The high point for me, though, was when the past chairman of the library board read poetry at the end of his speech. You could almost hear the intense appreciation from the audience as he read, the collected intake of breath when he finished. His speech, with which he ended this poem, was a brief one about the exciting plans for new branches, and renovating old libraries so they better serve their purpose now. But to end it with a poem by a well-loved Canadian poet was a stroke of genius on his part. He read it simply and very well, and it was to me a brilliant example of how poetry can enter the everyday and make it extraordinary.

Now, because there is a definite "DO NOT REPRODUCE THIS" statement on the pdf form on which Irving Layton's poem There Were No Signs appears, I shall not reproduce it. I shall instead link to it, and hope you all enjoy.

There Were No Signs by Irving Layton

UPDATE: I forgot to mention, and I really shouldn't have, that FreeVerse is a non-meme run every Wednesday by Cara over at Ooh... Books! Thanks for the opportunity to celebrate poetry, Cara!


Jenners said...

I really like the poem!! Powerful stuff. And how wonderful to have it read out loud like that! I think spoken poetry can be amazingly powerful -- and I bet it was a wonderful treat for everyone at the lunch. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Jenners - It certainly was, and it was a bit of a surprise, too. A very nice surprise! It made me think that more people should be reciting poetry at more occassions.

Cara Powers said...

Wow. That is a great poem. So moving. I'm still walking without knowing where I'm going. Such a great poem.

Unknown said...

Cara - I like how simple it is, and yet carries such a strong message.