From the Rochester Radar, September 15, 2017:
“As the 21st century moves through its second decade, the need for rhythm and rhyme has never seemed more necessary,” says poet S.L. Manning of Strafford, NH. In today’s fast-paced world, Manning believes that poetry serves much the same function as physics or philosophy.
“Society accelerates mercilessly forward, but Einstein’s century-old search for a universal formula still reminds us that the Song of Solomon, the Music of the Spheres, whale-song studies, and slam poetry’s frenetic scream are all a synthesis of man’s quest for meaning,” Manning explains. “If hope exists, it may lie in our pursuit and need for patterns – a cohesive structure in our lives. For me nothing more exemplifies structure, meaning, and a pattern that I can live with than poetry.”
A frequent participant in poetry readings across New Hampshire, Manning maintains a calendar of statewide poetry events as a resource for other local writers. He reads his work regularly at the Rochester Writers Group, which is hosted by former Rochester Poet Laureate Pat O’Brien and meets the first Thursday of every month at Mel Flanigan’s Irish Pub. Readers interested in learning more can visit Manning’s blog at http://azeyeceaitt.weebly.com.
The following poem, which Manning wrote as a tribute to the turning of the season, is an excellent example of his fondness of form and structure as well as his characteristic narrative style and economy of language.
MIST ON THE MEADOWS
Don’t we admire the way they change?
And don’t we deny them on their way?
Yet we have so much to say,
On how their colors rearrange.
In the spring, in the field, down by the bog,
The crusted corn – snow sprouted a fuzz of lemon-lime,
Turning golden-green by another evening-time
And in weeks, home to the peepers and the frog.
Early summer brought a serious yellow phase,
With hooves-prints and groundhogs at sup,
And before the first-cut could be cut,
In the summer rain the wild lily’s turquoise haze.
Now summers end has turned the field at noon to gold –
All day the butterfly and red-winged blackbirds wing –
But in the misty sunset – still – all the peepers sing:
‘Come celebrate the year as she grows old.’
O’Connor, a New York native, recently settled in Rochester after obtaining her Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from the University of New Hampshire. Her work has recently appeared in “The Fourth River,” “Stone Canoe,” “Paper Nautilus,” “So to Speak,” “Arsenic Lobster,” and the “Santa Ana River Review,” among other publications. She is also a former poetry editor of the online literary journal “Barnstorm.”
pOETRY HERE & NOW
Poetry Here & Now is published in Rochester Radar, a special section of Fosters Daily Democrat that is direct mailed to households in Rochester, East Rochester, Farmington, and Gonic.
Poetry Here & Now features the work of poets with a connection to Strafford County. Poems are selected by Katie O'Connor, Poet Laureate of Rochester. Writers of all ages, from beginners to published poets, are invited to share their poetry.
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