Ekphrastic May: Eagles Mere, Summer 2020

Members of the Guilford Poets Guild are writing ekphrastic poems this month, poetry inspired by artwork hanging in their home.

Eagles Mere, Summer 2020
by Gwen Gunn

the porch is cool at the Reily Cottage
modestly named for a place with ten bedrooms
on a lake in the Endless Mountains

our family has outgrown
any one or our family’s homes
so each summer we now meet here

relic of nineteen century summer retreats
in a town where the Sweet Shop
the Book Nook……are social centers

some of us boat and swim
some of us read and talk on the porch
shaded by ancient hydrangeas

the young ones are coaxed from digital to board games
to group singing……sung by varying talents
we take turns to finish a complex puzzle

even the family living in Denmark joined us
until this summer none of us now can meet
since outside the cool porch a hot danger lurks

Poet Gwen Gunn

In celebration of National Poetry Month, members of the Guilford Poets Guild were invited to share their thoughts about poetry and the life of a poet. Here’s what poet Gwen Gunn had to say:

How did you come to being a poet?
I played at writing poetry from high school days, but got serious when moving to Guilford and becoming part of Richard Raymond’s workshop in the mid-seventies, the group that became Guilford Poets Guild.

Do you remember the first poem you ever wrote?
No. Fortunately.

What else do you write besides poetry? Do you have other creative pursuits?
I’ve recently taken up drumming.

What has been the defining moment in your life as a poet/writer?
It’s in the future.

How long have you been a member of the Guilford Poets Guild and what’s that like?
Forty-five years. I began while in diapers. At first it was messy.

What inspires your writing today?
The pandemic, of course. Climate disasters. Love and Beauty.

Describe your poem-writing process.
I get a thought or impression that whirls around in my head awhile before I write it down.

Where do you like to write? With what?
Anywhere, with anything.

Who are you favorite poets and authors?
Emily Dickinson, ambiguity and all. I admire poets who write imaginatively in narrative like Marilyn Nelson and Gray Jacobik, and those who dare to try to write political poems, with wit, like Gemma Matthewson, with loud ferocity, like Norman Marshall, and with quiet ferocity, like Carolyn Forche. I will never forget the latter speaking at the Yale Historical Society without notes her prose poem, “The Colonel,” soon after returning from corrupt El Salvador in the late seventies. I love Margaret Gibson’s amazing way of writing about our environment with rage and love, hope and despair, and all the poets in my writing groups who continue to be my support, my inspiration, and my dearest friends.

What book are you currently reading? (poetry or not)
Eleanor by Gray Jacobik, a fabulous biography in verse about Eleanor Roosevelt. A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14h Century by Barbara Tuchman. It puts our present state in perspective.

Poem in Your Pocket Day is celebrated during National Poetry Month in April. What’s your favorite poem to carry about or share with others?
I was going to say “Hope is a Thing with Feathers” by Emily Dickinson, but then I ran across this most-appropriate-for-this-month poem by W.S. Merwin:

SEPARATION

Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.

Any last words?
Not yet, thank God. (Sorry, couldn’t resist. Probably not the first to so respond.)


Gwen Gunn has had poems published in Connecticut River Review, Fresh Ink, and Caduceus, among other places. She co-edited the poetry magazine Embers. With her partner Norman Marshall she performs Poetry’s Greatest Hits. Her book of poetry and paintings, Tastes, is for sale at the Clinton Art Gallery.

Moses Gunn Play Company: Two One-Act Comedies

Readings of Two One-Act Comedies Adapted from Anton Chekhov Plays

The Moses Gunn Play Company will present play readings of two one-act comedies, based on plays by Anton Chekhov, on Saturday, June 1, 2 to 4 p.m., at the Guilford Free Library, 67 Park St., Guilford.

Veteran Broadway actor Norman Allen is a guest artist for this performance, joining actor Norman Thomas Marshall who also adapted the Chekhov works – “The Harm of Tobacco” and “Swan Song.”

Together they bring the plays to life in this “theatre of the imagination,” which frees the audience to create each play in their minds, without relying on costumes, scenery, props and the like.

Admission is free, and refreshments will be served.

GPG members Gwen Gunn and Norman Thomas Marshall have recently created the Moses Gunn Play Company, dedicated to the memory of Moses Gunn. Together, they present staged and concert readings of dramatic and comedic plays for the shoreline community. Original and well-known plays will be presented as well as little known masterpieces.

Moses Gunn Play Company: “The Sunshine Boys”

 


Moses Gunn Play Company presents:
“The Sunshine Boys” by Neil Simon

Saturday, May 4, 2:00 pm

at the Guilford Free Library
67 Park St, Guilford, CT 06437
Free and open to all. No registration necessary.

GPG members Gwen Gunn and Norman Thomas Marshall have recently created the Moses Gunn Play Company, dedicated to the memory of Moses Gunn. Together, they present staged and concert readings of dramatic and comedic plays for the shoreline community. Original and well-known plays will be presented as well as little known masterpieces.

The Moses Gunn Play Company presents The Virginia Monologues

The Moses Gunn Play Company presents The Virginia Monologues (part 2), produced and directed by GPG member Gwen Gunn, written by GPG member Norman Thomas Marshall. Performed by Norman and a mysterious mystery guest.

Sunday, September 9 @ 3PM
(Rain date Sunday, September 16.)

Refreshments and performance in the Gunn/ Marshall garden, 395 Nut Plains Road, Guilford.

A fundraiser for the 2018-2019 season. We don’t need much but we do need something! $20 suggested minimum donation but don’t stay away just because you’re broke. The poor are welcome!
Johnbrowndrama@gmail.com, 203-533-7340 or 610-428-4852

If you cannot attend- Aw-w-w-w-w! But all is not lost!
You can send a check to:
The Moses Gunn Play Company, 395 Nut Plains Road, Guilford, CT 06437
Bring a lawn chair or a blanket to sit on.