The other night I heard Leland Kinsey read from his new book of poems, Galvanized, at the Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick. Leaving home on a weeknight is always a pain, with homework rearing up, dinner dishes, and – although it’s only ten minutes – the ten minutes in the car to drive. I’m always glad when I get to the bookstore, though. The company is familiar and jovial; the books are terrific.
I’ve been to many, many readings at this Hardwick bookstore, but this reading was particularly fine. I’d brought my knitting, but I left it in my lap, untouched. A couple in the back had come with their baby, and the little one’s babbles wove beneath Leland’s voice. Leland hails from a lengthy line of Vermont farmers, and his poetry is strewn with glacial erratics, swallows, ponds – with a keen awareness of mortality, of hard physical work, of human frailty, and love. Perhaps what I admire most about his poetry is that constant thread of beauty, winding all through his words like that baby’s murmur.
Galvanized is a collection of poems suffused with life, penetrating into the deepest recesses of our lives, a book of laughter and tears and beauty, the matter of our everyday lives. Isn’t that what poetry is all about?
…. The same uncle said recently about a blue suit,
“I bought it to be laid out in;
now I’m wearing it to the wakes of others.
Life takes so long.”
From “Deer Camp,” Leland Kinsey, in Galvanized