Each student brought his or her portfolio to the podium and read aloud to the rest of us while we noshed on cookies and cider. I even lit candles, which I think were made somewhat irrelevant by the flourescent lights, but it's the thought that counts.
The students loved hearing their classmates' final versions, having given input to earlier drafts, and I loved the concrete acknowledgement that this is what they accomplished these sixteen weeks -- these lovely, evocative, well-crafted poems.
A number of these poets seemed to dread the act of reading aloud before reading, but there was a palpable pleasure in the air once things got rolling -- emanating from the readers and the audience. Poetry aloud is just beyond compare.
So, in that vein, I want to share with you this site for the PBS series The United States of Poetry.
You'll find some mighty good listening there.
For example, check out this one -- in spoken word and sign language.
I am grateful there are so many ways to speak. And to listen...