Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Poet laureate ...

I bet most of you didn't even know that Montana has an official poet laureate! We've had three of them, in fact ... the title was created in 2005, and recipients hold the position for two-year terms.

The first Montana poet laureate was a woman named Sandra Alcosser, who studied under Richard Hugo at the University of Montana. She now lives down in the Bitterroot Valley. Here's an example of her work -- the final two stanzas of a poem called "Approaching August":
Today I had a letter from France.
"What a truly civilized nation," my friend wrote
as she drank her morning coffee with thick cream
in a country cafe near Avignon. "To my right
a man in a black tuxedo sips raspberry liqueur
and soda."

Here on the same latitude we lie back at dawn
on the caving bank of the Bitterroot.
A shadow slips through the silver grasses.
And then a moth.
And then the moon.

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