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Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry
The Maine State Library has partnered with with the State's Poet Laureate, Wesley McNair, and the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance in the initiative, Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry.
Each week McNair offers one previously published poem by a Maine poet. McNair selects each poem and writes a brief introduction about the poet's background and connection to Maine, and the history, context, or themes of the poem.
Poem for the week of February 2, 2014
Inside the Stone
Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate
The most popular choice among those who read poetry by the late Kate Barnes at her memorial celebration last September was this poem. In it, she invites us to imagine the world inside a stone.
Inside the Stone by Kate Barnes
Up in the woods, in the circle among the beech trees, last winter one of the lumber horses split a stone horizontally, with a clip of his big steel shoe. It had seemed to be a plain gray stone, but when it was opened a black wall appeared, rusty at the edges, flecked with pale checks like unknown constellations, and over all floated wisps of blue-gray, trailing feathers of clouds.I brush away the fallen leaves and stare into the distance inside the stone. In one could become a bird- if one could fly into that night- if one could see the circling of those stars-and then the woods become very still, and beech leaves blur at the edge of my vision. I find I am bending lower and lower.
Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 1994 Kate Barnes. Reprinted from Where the Deer Where, David R. Godine, Publisher, Inc., 1994, by permission of Kate Barnes. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.
Addresses by Wesley McNair
The files below require the free Adobe Reader.
- 4th Annual Address 2014
- 3rd Annual Address 2013
- 2nd Annual Address 2012
- 2011 National Book Festival
- The Remarks of Maine Poet Laureate, Wesley McNair from April 2011 as a newly appointed Poet Laureate.
Wesley McNair is the fourth Maine Poet Laureate. He has published eight books of poetry and two limited editions. The author of three volumes of nonfiction he has also edited six anthologies of Maine writing, including four that feature Maine poetry. Few authors are as well versed in the history of Maine poetry or the work of Maine's contemporary poets as Wesley McNair.