Friday, March 20, 2020

Local poet creates framed poetry display for National Poetry Month

Bob Clark
By Elizabeth Richards

Bob Clark’s interest in poetry was piqued when he was a student at Windham High School.  A teacher there took the time to really examine poetry and the different ways it could be interpreted.
That initial interest returned later in life, and inspired Clark to begin offering a display of his work to public libraries during April, which is National Poetry Month. He is scheduled to display his work for the tenth consecutive year at the Windham Public Library next month.

In notes that will accompany his 2020 display, Clark wrote, “Making reader connections
has become my lead effort, just as it had been years ago in grade school when we were invited to think about a “deeper meaning” that an author could be intending. It was fascinating!” dabbled in poetry in college where there were classes devoted to looking at the meaning,
motive and feelings of poetry.  He had some work published in the college literary publication, which was a nice validation of the idea that “wordsmithing was legitimate,” Clark said.

After college, Clark joined the Peace Corps. In the Spanish speaking places that he travelled to, he began to notice the tone and sound of words that people respond to, he said. After his Peace Corps experience, he became a Spanish teacher at Gorham High School. When he started to think of retirement around the year 2000, he picked up a pen once more.

In 2010, Clark approached several local libraries about doing a display for National Poetry Month. His idea for display was different than the typical book or poster displays he’d seen. Clark framed his work, sometimes adding illustrations to the page that reflected the ideas in the poetry.

For several years, Clark had month-long displays in two different libraries. He has now backed off to only displaying his work in Windham.’s poetry reflects what he sees in New England, much like that of Robert Frost or Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, he said. “To write is to feel freedom, a freedom to use words as images and images as expressions of comfort and joy, as well as concern or unease,” Clark said in his 2020 display notes. “The ‘story’ of many poems furnishes a friendly New England gesture to relax and read with a serene sense of enjoyment. Those on display welcome patrons to recall something similar
in or from our unique natural maritime and forest landscapes and work heritage,” he added.

Clark’s 2020 display is titled “Carriage Lane,” and features works from his two books, “The Hitching Post”, and “Tenerife Island”. Along with the display, Clark will offer free bookmarks, and a booklet of poems for sale.

Because the library is currently closed due to the current coronavirus social distancing efforts, this display may be postponed or cancelled.  Please check with the library for updates.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your Comments Help Improve Your Community.