A nature walk accompanied by verse
WILMINGTON- Woodford State Park and the Poetry Party of Pettee Memorial Library have partnered to offer visitors to the park a walk interspersed with words: through Wednesday, September 5, at each of 13 strategic spots along the park’s trails a different poem is posted.
Each simply displayed poem resonates with its unique surroundings and can deepen hikers’ experience of the park’s natural environment.
A nature walk accompanied by verse isn’t a new idea. Woodford’s Poetry Walk is fashioned after similar installations ranging from a Saxapahaw, NC, “stroll through the woods” with outdoor artwork and poems to the annual “Poetry Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge” fundraiser for Poet’s House in New York City. They were inspired by the poetry walk at Niquette Bay State Park in Colchester,which Wilmington librarians learned about from Burnham Memorial Library’s conference presentation last fall. Pettee Memorial assistant librarian Jenfer Razee hosts the library’s Poetry Party, an informal monthly gathering of local poetry fans.
The poems selected include works by famous poets such as Robert Frost and Mary Oliver, poetry by lesser-known writers such as children’s poet Linda Ori, and a poem self-published on the website PoemHunter by a virtually unknown young poet. There’s even a Pablo Neruda poem in its original Spanish alongside an English translation. Poetic subjects range from lovers to fairies to grasshoppers, and publication dates range from 1860 to 2011.
The Poetry Walk installation was completed on August 15, and on Friday, August 24, at 5pm is its grand opening, complete with refreshments and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The Poetry Walk will remain in place until September 5; it is family-friendly, and everyone is encouraged to attend.