Saturday, August 06, 2005

Moonlight Poetry

We have struggled to find a date for our “Poetry by the Light of the Moon” night. We finally decided on September 17, hoping that at least some of those people who didn’t RSVP at all can come. There are still details to work out.

For example, where we’re going to do this. Deb had suggested the Jefferson Memorial. However, when I called the National Park Service, they told me that food is not allowed at the Memorial. Last night we drove around West Potomac Park, East Potomac Park, Haines Point, and the Tidal Basin, checking out possible sites.

** There is a nice grassy stretch along the river in West Potomac Park with a view of parkland and street parking nearby. But there are no picnic facilities or bathrooms there.

**At the tip of Haines Point there is a very cool statue that emerges from the ground. “The Awakening” is a five part cast aluminum sculpture created by J. Seward Johnson, Jr. for the 1980 International Sculpture Exhibition and Conference. Placed in conjunction with the National Park Service, the “giant” is situated on the grounds of Haines Point and the banks of the Potomac River. Here is a URL: This would be a great site if the view across the river were not a string of bright lights.

**There is a grassy area across the Tidal Basin from the Jefferson Memorial that provides a great view of the monument and plenty of parking.

I’m sure there are many more appropriate places, but it is confusing enough having to choose among these three!

I’ve given up wanting to know exactly who is coming. My part of the deal will be to supply plentiful beer, wine, water, and paper and plastic eating products. Everyone who comes should bring some sort of food to share. Yes, we could end up with all salads or all desserts. But would that be so bad? I think any effort to organize the food will not really work. And this way the food and the attendees will be a total surprise!

The real purpose of the evening is poetry. Everyone should bring several of their favorite poems to read. We will come up with ways of combining people. For example if there were 32 people, we could have people group by the season in which they were born, giving 4 groups of approximately 8 people if probability can be counted on. Then after everyone has had time to read one or two poems, we could recombine the groups by some other combination of birth months or some other algorithm. I will consult with my genius husband on this one.

At the end of a moonlit evening, we will collect copies of all poems read and afterwards issue an anthology for “Poetry by the Light of the Moon.”

This evening is in honor of Florence, our 90-year-old friend who had a stroke earlier this year. I made a deal that if she survived that ordeal, I would make her wish to “Dance by the light of the moon” at least partially come true by a moonlight poetry reading.

I just hope the weather cooperates...


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