Celebrating Independence — Reading July 2

In honor of our nation’s birth, BAWA* dedicated its July reading to poems about Independence.  But finding poems about independence was not as easy as it might seem.  There are many poems about American history but about the concept of independence is another thing.  Each of our readers took different tacks with this.  Our readers looked at some poems that played with mis-hearing the words to famously independent parts of our heritage (the Star Spangled Banner and the Declaration of Independence) and then moved on to poems themes about times of life when we experience independence, like marriage, going off to college, liberating events, and the statue of liberty.  The reading ended with poems about cats who are about the most independent creatures on earth!  Sabrina, our dedicated baker, provided us with cake pops decorated with stars and stripes.


Alex Girardot and Kat Skibbe waiting for the reading to start. Kat came all the way from Minneapolis to hear this reading!

waiting for the reading to start

waiting for the reading to start

Here is what we read on July 2

Natassja Linzau reads during the first half of the program.


Read by Natassja Linzau

The Panther by Rainer Maria Rilke

Wooden Bird by Zbigniew Herbert

The Pit Ponies by Leslie Norris

On the Pulse of the Morning by Maya Angelou

Maggid by Marge Piercy

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

The Journey by Mary Oliver

Leap of Faith by A. M. Rhamzy

The Idea of Order at Key West by Wallace Stevens



Read by Susan Scheid:

The Star Spangled Banner by Denise Duhamel

Shorter American Memory of the Declaration of Independence by Rosmarie Waldrop

My Timid Eternity by Mary Ruefle

Statue of Liberty by Claire in 2nd grade at PS 276 (NYC), thanks to Poets House pocket postcards

On the Steps of the Jefferson Memorial, by Linda Pastan

Postal by B. C. Edwards

For a Daughter Who leaves by Janice Mirikitani

Liberty by Archibald Macleish

Cat in an Empty Bedroom by Susan Scheid

Little Red, by Susan Scheid

Rapunzel by Susan Scheid

The Cat’s Song by Marge Piercy

The Backyard Mermaid by Matthea Harvey

When we’re told we’ll never understand by Ed Madden


Sashi and Bret enjoying the company and poems