Dodge Poetry Program Staff
Whether it’s the metaphorical wings of freedom and expression, or a bowl of Buffalo wings with blue cheese and celery, poets and poetry lovers love wings, too. But if watching the Super Bowl is not your thing, we have some ideas about how to spend Sunday afternoon that might bring you more inspiration than the halftime show.
- Invite your friends over for a literary salon, or reading circle, or poetry party. Call it whatever you want. You can serve all the typical Super Bowl fare, but spend your time reading newly discovered or favorite poems to each other. For millennia, long before the invention of wide-screen televisions, or football for that matter, the only “instant replay” was to ask the bard to repeat a favorite poem or passage. It’s easy to imagine one of our ancestors seated before a fire calling out, “Do that bit about Beowulf tearing off the monster’s arm again!” Salons, where friends gathered to read to each other, predate the Elizabethan era. Being read aloud to (or listening to bards, balladeers and storytellers before written language was invented), is a basic pleasure as old as human consciousness. Yet for most of us, it is one largely abandoned after childhood. Dedicate one afternoon to sharing and listening to poems, and you might discover you want this to be a regular part of your life. And mid-winter is a great time to check in with friends to find out what they’ve been reading, and to get ideas about what to read next.
- Super Bowl Sunday is a great day to go to the theater or visit a museum. Many cities and states have organizations that sell reduced and even half-price day-of tickets for local theaters. New York has its famous TKTS booth, and New Jersey has its NJ Theater Alliance. Because so many people are home watching the game or out at parties, there are usually plenty of good seats for sale at very reasonable prices in your local theaters and for concerts and dance performances. For the same reason, museums and galleries will be quiet, allowing you to wander freely and take the time to linger where you will without having to worry about crowds or noise. One way to find out what’s happening in New Jersey is to check out Discover Jersey Arts for a searchable listing of events.
- Sunday is supposed to be a mild day across the Northeast and much of the nation. If being in nature is one of the ways you feed your inner life, take a walk in one of our National or State Parks, or in your own county park system. Live near a sea coast, lake or river? Don’t wait until summer vacation to visit them. New Jersey’s beaches, for example, take on an entirely different feeling during the quiet winter months, and are the perfect place for a meditative, rejuvenating stroll.
- If you’re like the Dodge Poetry Staff, you probably have a constantly growing stack of books that you haven’t found time to get to. Protect those books from an inevitable tumble by putting this Sunday aside for reading. There is nothing like dedicating time to sit quietly and read with a cup of tea or, to continue the Super Bowl theme, a frosty mug of your favorite brew. Can’t get away from the game in your home? Bring a satchel of books to your local tea or coffee shop, or even the local diner. They’ll likely be empty enough for you to find a quiet corner where the wait staff will be happy to leave you alone. (And if they do, and you stay long, be sure to tip generously.)
Whatever you decide to do, we hope you have a revitalizing day. We’d love to hear about it.