I have nothing to say on my own really, so I think it’s time again for a poem by somebody else. Just like last month’s poem by Mary Queen of Scots, I first heard this poem as a song. I was at a fundraiser for the Utah Chamber Artists a couple years ago and Barlow Bradford (the artistic director) read it to us at a dinner before the concert at the Cathedral of the Madeline. I remember he cried at the end of the eleventh line. Barlow can be emotional like that.
I kept the program from the concert that night because I liked the poem so much. I don’t remember the melody of the song, which is strange. Usually for me, the music is more memorable than the lyrics. But I studied the poem over and over again. I even hung a star above my bed. I can be corny like that.
Choose Something Like a Star
by Robert Frost
O Star (the fairest one in sight),
We grant your loftiness the right
To some obscurity of cloud --
It will not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light.
Some mystery becomes the proud.
But to be wholly taciturn
In your reserve is not allowed.
Say something to us we can learn
By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something! And it says "I burn."
But say with what degree of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
Use language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend.
It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end.
And steadfast as Keats' Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.
Speaking of poetry…if anyone wants something different to do and free of charge, you should come to the Poetry Out Loud competition at Westminster College on Friday, March 9th. Ten students from ten high schools in Utah will each recite a 1-3 minute poem. There will be a panel of judges and the winner will be forwarded to Washington, D.C. for the national competition. Word has it these students really brought down the house at their schools during the finals, so I’m excited. Utah Arts Council staff will be working the event. I’m the “contestant handler”. I’ll be backstage and in the green room giving pep talks and making sure everyone walks in the right direction. It sounds like a documentary like “Spellbound” doesn’t it? Maybe someday it will be –my brother Carter will be filming the event.