And in Minnesota, Joyce Sutphen thanked
Snow falling from canada
Cover the leaves that were not scraped
And then how sometimes we
Get a heat wave and a second chance
To put things right in the world
Not all states answered. The New York Times request had a strict requirement to order a strict art form with a newspaper deadline of 100 words or less. Some states do not have poet laureates. New Jersey abolished the post in 2003 in controversy, and Idaho replaced it with a broader “residence writer” appointment in the 1980s. Diane Raptosh, who was also the last full-time poet to do the job, the poet laureate of Boise, provided the state’s poetry.
Yet another state was among the poets. In California, Joya’s term ended in 2018, and the governor has not yet appointed a successor. Illinois has had no official poet since 2017. We received submissions from the last winner and the poet who succeeded him on Wednesday.
However, many responding writers reflected widespread appreciation, if tired, for both the local grit and the more universal blessings. Many wrote about the humanity and fellowship around them in these socially distant times.
Hawaiian poets thanked the “close island community”, Wyoming “helping their neighbors / despite long distances”, and Alabama thanking the states where people “gather to help each other in times of crisis”.
And North Carolina means “North Carolinas” and “many ways we got together to take care of each other.” And South Dakota means “food, resources, / each other-the first real test of love and fear.”
Paisley Rekdal, Utah, writes about “Something Strange: Canyon Crowds.” Bobby Lefebvre, Colorado, contacted on social media: “Love, Family, Health, Work, Creators, Community, Culture / Restoration, Art, Slave Abolitionists, Education, Imagination, Clarity / Life, Truth,” Crowdsourced state appreciation for “weeds”. Much more.
Beth Ann Fennery of Mississippi said, “Thank you for being relied on. One Mississippi, two Mississippi. Thank you for the word y’all. Thank you to everyone who was emphasized.”
Poetry vs. Coronavirus: What the Winners of These Poets Thank
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