Friends and neighbors in the Cashiers area will be on stage at the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library on Thursday, Aug. 25, to read their favorite poems and to share their reasons for enjoying them. The Second Annual Cashiers Favorite Poem Readings, sponsored by Friends of the Library, will begin at 7:30 and be followed by a reception in the library’s Friendship Garden.
“I know the word ‘poetry’ makes some folks yawn,” said Marilyn Staats, coordinator of the event. “Most of us were raised by parents who read us Mother Goose poems and, if we were lucky, we had teachers who introduced us to everything from Winnie the Pooh to Robert Frost to Shakespeare to nonsense verse.
“Poems can make us laugh, cry, think, dream. There are also many poems that belong to our national psyche, poems like ‘The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere’ and ‘America, the Beautiful’ and ‘The New Colossus,’ the poem that is engraved on our Statue of Liberty.”
Starting off the evening will be a quartet of Cashiers Valley Rotarians acting out just such a national treasure: “Casey at the Bat.” Other familiar poems on the program include “The Highwayman,” Rudyard Kipling’s “If,” Gerald Manley Hopkin’s “Pied Beauty,” and the inspirational poem, “Invictus.” Poets whose works will be read include W. B. Yeats, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and the most popular poet writing today, Billy Collins.
“With this event,” said Staats, “Cashiers once again joins thousands of other towns across the United States that have participated in the American Poem Project, a program begun in the 1990s to celebrate the importance of poetry in the lives of townspeople from all walks of life and across all age groups. Almost 50 residents and visitors to our area submitted favorite poems to the library this year, and in keeping with the ideals of the American Poem Project, those chosen to read on stage will include a doctor, a pastor, a chicken raiser, an actor, a social worker, an artist, a nurse, a secretary, a journalist and a physicist. Ages will again range from children to teens to folks old enough to be their grandparents.”
All programs sponsored by Friends of the Library are free to the public, although donations are gratefully accepted. Membership in Friends is open to all who believe in the importance of the library to individuals and to our community. Membership forms are available at the library’s front desk.