Sunday, January 28, 2007

Immortal butterflies

Lew Jaffe, a collector of bookplates and a blogger, recently posted this image of an original pen and ink illustration by Vachel Lindsay.

According to Mr. Jaffe, Lindsay's obit (didn't say which newspaper) reported that the Rev. Clark Walter Cummings officiated at Lindsay's funeral. The sketch is dated 1931, the year Lindsay died.

Along either edge of the page Lindsay wrote the words, "Fine books are immortal butterflies that sweep the skies."

No indication is given as to what book this drawing was made in, but it probably wasn't a Lindsay title.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Poetry reading tonight

In the spirit of Lindsay's tramps across America, the Vachel Lindsay Association is proud to host an evening with internationally renowned poet Simon Pettet tonight at 7:00 in the Art Gallery at the Hoogland Center for the Arts. The public is invited to attend.

Mr. Pettet, an English-born poet, is a long time resident of New York’s Lower East Side. His new book of poems is called More Winnowed Fragments. Robert Creeley says of Pettet: “He sounds those same simplicities of profound music Blake also knew. He moves with a deft and practiced quiet. He speaks the truth. One critic describes the book as “Magical, revivifying, masterful — how many adjectives can dance on the tip of a pin?”

Joining Mr. Pettet this evening is Eero Ruuttila. Mr. Ruuttila manages Nesenkeag Farm and is the organizer of the annual Farm Day Poetry Reading series held on the banks of the Merrimack River where Thoreau camped, outside of Litchfield, New Hampshire. In addition to reading poems and stories from his travel and farm journals, Ruuttila travels with a simply framed photography show.

photo courtesy of

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Major blog features Lindsay at poetry slam

Daily Kos, considered by many to be one of the most influential blogs on the Internet, was the scene of a virtual poetry slam hosted by blogger Darrell J. Gahm on Saturday, December 23, 2006. Gahm kicked off the event with "The Congo," "What the Moon Saw," and "The Doll on the Topmost Bough," all by Vachel Lindsay.

Knowing the essence of Lindsay's work, Gahm made an audio version of his own recitation of "The Congo" available at the blog.

Gahm referred to Lindsay as "relatively obscure". He appears to have come to him (or was reminded of him) by the new biography of King Leopold, "King Leopold's Ghost," that takes its title from "The Congo".

Looking back on the many blog entries mentioning Lindsay in 2006, the blogoshere may well breathe new life into interest not just in Vachel's poetry, but in all poetry.