Return of the Dogwoods, Featuring Tony Hoagland

Tony Hoagland
Tony Hoagland (Photo credit: lostcosmos)

So it was a long day. Meeting the oldest two sons on campus, and hearing that Jo had no difficulty changing his major. He has a 4.0 in all the psychology classes he’s taken so far anyway. Went to the financial aid office with the middle son to sort some more complicated things out. Then we met up with the youngest after school, and the four of us decided we were hungry enough to go out for an early dinner.

I mostly avoided their mother, not out of rudeness, but because she was the last of the gang to contract the stomach bug that had most of the family running (or stumbling) to the bathroom this weekend.

Sadly though, with everyone well, and recovered but very tired, we didn’t really do anything for Earth Day today, except I just noticed while writing this that the youngest, the Monkey did write an “earth” day poem and posted it to his blog. I must say he is, as usual, delightfully unpredictable.

I did look at some plants at a few shops on the way home, but I will wait until I can get out to the farm near Faylor Lake where I got my best plants last spring.

So this is our Earth Day poem, by Tony Hoagland, except, like the Monkey’s, it’s not really about Earth with a capital E,  though it does begin and end with trees. The speaker in the poem internalizes nature, as we usually do, as sort of a half-comic post-modern romantic.  I enjoyed it and thought I had to read this one for you. Earth Day is just my excuse.

I haven’t really done any recorded readings of Tony’s work before, but I’ve been reading him a lot lately and enjoying it. There is something of a modern Frank O’Hara about him. We can talk more about the poet later, but for now, here’s the reading. The video is sort of an inspired blend of Northumberland, Pennsylvania, and the roads along the north coast of Northern Ireland. Weird how these things happen sometimes, but there it is.

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