Friday, January 27, 2012

USPS to Issue Poet Stamps in 2012

Link below to the article about stamps dedicated to American poets of the 20th century, set to be released March 3, 2012.  This is cool!  I remember a previous set of stamps, and had a few of them.  This time, I think I'll get the whole set.  Poets to be featured are:  Elizabeth Bishop, Joseph Brodsky, Gwendolyn Brooks, E.E. Cummings, Robert Hayden, Denise Levertov, Sylvia Plath, Theodore Roethke, Wallace Stevens, and William Carlos Williams.  A great lineup, for sure, but it also seems some important poets are missing~Anne Sexton, for one, and as mentioned in the article, what of Allen Ginsberg?  Frank O'Hara?  At any rate, I'm pleased that the postal service deems poetry culturally important enough to include another set of poet stamps.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Graves of the Famous

Just some random photos of artists' graves I've visited over the years, whether they be musicians, writers, etc.  Perhaps this could be considered a rather morbid pastime, but I like to think of it as "paying my respects". 
Jack Kerouac's grave, in my hometown~I've visited about five times.
Edson Cemetery, Lowell, MA.

Bench at Conrad Aiken's grave.  I love the inscriptions:  "Cosmos Mariner, Destination Unknown", and "Give My Love to the World".  Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, GA.

Oscar Wilde's wild headstone.  All the spots on the bottom portion are from kisses (they've since put up a Plexiglas barrier to stop the practice~but I read that people just began to kiss the glass instead).
Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France.

Family plot of poet Celia Thaxter.  Laid to rest on her beloved island.
Appledore Island, Isles of Shoals (off the coast of Portsmouth, NH).

Guillaume Apollinaire's grave.  I was hoping they'd have fashioned the names like one of his calligrams!
Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France.

Jim Morrison's grave.  The thing, as a whole, looks (rather ironically) like a shallow bathtub.  Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France.

Moliere's impressive box.  Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France.

Abelard and Heloise.  Apparently, there's still some discussion as to whether they're actually buried here (records show their remains were moved here in 1817).  Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France.

Famous lovers, Abelard and Heloise (he was a fairly decent philosopher, to boot, and she was no slouch, either).  Read
  The Love Letters of Abelard and Heloise if you get a chance.
Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France.

Marcel Proust's grave; sleek, shiny, and black.
Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France.

American author Richard Wright's final resting place.
His book Native Son really had an impact on me.
Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France.

Colette's grave, covered in chrysanthemums.
Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France.

Chopin's beautiful grave.  Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France.

Bench at songwriter Johnny Mercer's grave:
"Buddy, I'm a kind of poet, and I've gotta lotta things to say".
Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, GA.

Zora Neale Hurston's grave. Cemetery was a little tricky to find.
Nice plaque here though, and the spot is very lovingly tended.
Garden of Heavenly Rest, Fort Pierce, FL.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Visit to the Master of the Macabre

Just wanted to share some photos from a visit to Edgar Allan Poe's house and grave, taken about three years ago.  We were driving from the Northeast down to Florida, and decided to stop here.  I must say, it was one of the highlights of that trip, especially for me, as I've always loved Poe's work.  These sites are definitely worth a visit for any Poe fan!

Gates to Westminster Burying Ground, 519 West Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD.

Interior of the Westminster Burying Ground.  A wee bit spooky!

Westminster Hall.

Poe's resting site.  The ground actually slopes underneath, but I straightened this photo out.  This memorial stone is located just inside the gates to the cemetery.

Gift left by a fan on Poe's grave.

Plaque discussing Walt Whitman's attendance at Poe's funeral.

Poe's house, 203 Amity Street, Baltimore, MD.  Just a short walk away from Westminster Burying Ground.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Cafe Zum Zum

Wow!  I just found these old, faded photographs, circa '97 or '98, taken outside the former Cafe Zum Zum in North Conway, New Hampshire, after one of the open mic sessions that used to be held there.  Poetry, prose, music, and just about anything else you could imagine was the weekly fare, and a lot of good friends were made during those days.  I remember my Dad even showed up once, and stunned the audience with an A Capella rendition of a Welsh miners' tune.  Good times, good times...

Back:  Mark and PJ
Front:  Mary Ann, Joe, and me

Back:  AZ (Arizona Zipper) and Mark
Front:  PJ, Mary Ann, me, Lydia, and Joe