Peeking at the Govs Bookshelves

Wordamour and her husband were recently incredibly fortunate to have received from an unknown benefector (ok, our incredibly gracious and generous Dean)  two ticket’s to the Porter Fund Literary Prize dinner at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion.   Roy Reed was the winner of the annual prize, with Arkansas poet Miller Williams winning a lifetime achievement award.  It was also the 25th anniversary of the award.  An exciting evening; lots of literary luminaries, a look at the Gov’s mansion and even at the bookshelves of his public study.  Of course, they were all books about Arkansas or by Arkansans.  I’m sure his private study is a little more varied.  Here’s a peek:


I’ll leave you with one of the poems Williams read, a famous one,

The Caterpillar

Miller Williams

Today on the lip of a bowl in the backyard
we watched a caterpillar caught in the circle
of his larvel assumptions
my daughter counted
27 times he went around
before rolling back and laughing
I’m a caterpillar, look
she left him
measuring out his slow green way to some place
there must have been a picture of inside him
After supper
coming from putting the car up
we stopped to look
figured he crossed the yard
once every hour
and left him
when we went to bed
wrinkling no closer to my landlord’s leaves
than when he somehow fell into his private circle
Later I followed
barefeet and doorclicks of my daughter
to the yard the bowl
a milkwhite moonlight eye
in the black grass
it died
I said honey they don’t live very long
In bed again
re-covered and re-kissed
she locked her arms and mumbling love to mine
until yawning she slipped
into the deep bone-bottomed dish of sleep
Stumbling drunk around the rim
I hold
the words she said to me across the dark
I think he thought he was
going in a straight line.


Bye y’all,


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2 responses to “Peeking at the Govs Bookshelves

  1. and don’t forget lucinda!

  2. Hey Steph, I just don’t get by here often enough. What a great poem. After my NWP brush with Billy Collins, I appreciate poetry so much more. And this one’s great. Don’t we all think we’re going in a straight line?


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