Monday, July 31, 2006

What Inspires You? New Poetry Contest

Baskin's Baird

On the lawns I anticipate
a mewing catbird perhaps
or a worm-hunting robin;

thus this is not the bird I expected,
the bronze of Baird, the naturalist,
overtowering lush tropical foliage
--a stern, upright long-
bearded visage encountered

on my trek this damp morning
to another hard day of editing.
I sniff a rain-drenched gardenia
step over flooded paths to study

Spencer Fullerton Baird, rendered
aloof in the artist's conception
of an uptight Victorian prof; and I squint
closer at the plinth, read:

"Opus Baskin 1976." Yes! The artist for Ted
Hughes' Crow! But somehow

like the stuffed avians Baird collected
not the trickster ruffian Crow, still--

O Baird! Welcome this damp work-
day amid the jungle of palms and frangipani!

Christopher T. George

  • Leonard Baskin's statue of Spencer Fullerton Baird (1823-1887),

  • second Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution,
    in its original location when unveiled in 1978.

  • Studies of Baird and Crow by Leonard Baskin (1922-2000).

  • What inspires you? Tell me in a poem of thirty lines or less, any form. Send your entries to me at by midnight on Thursday, August 31, Eastern time. Winners will be published here and first prize winner also receives a copy of the CD of the Charlotte production of highlights from the musical by composer Erik Sitbon and myself, "Jack The Musical: The Ripper Pursued." Good luck!


    Ava South said...

    Just wondering how much response you got on this challenge, Chris. My little offerering will probably be among some great stuff and get overlooked entirely. ~smile~


    Christopher T. George said...

    Hi Ava

    The entries are coming in but you are still in with a shot. Thanks for participating! :-)