Woiwode’s ‘A Desert of Snow’ this eveningTonight will be a special celebration of poetry, music, song, improvisation and performance. ”A Desert of Snow,” brought free of charge to the citizens of Jamestown by the convocation committee of JC, will give everyone a fresh taste of poetry, prose and beautiful art.
By: Sharon Cox, The Jamestown Sun
Tonight will be a special celebration of poetry, music, song, improvisation and performance. ”A Desert of Snow,” brought free of charge to the citizens of Jamestown by the convocation committee of JC, will give everyone a fresh taste of poetry, prose and beautiful art.
North Dakota’s Poet Laureate Larry Woiwode at 7 p.m. will take the stage to read, discuss and vocalize selections of works from his newest books. He will be joined by Associate Poet Laureate Rick Watson at the Reiland Fine Arts Center’s DeNault Auditorium on the campus of Jamestown College. Woiwode will be available to sign his books.
Brock Drenth’s art will be on exhibit as well, so JC’s lobby will be a lovely entrance to a poetic evening. Hard to beat that combination.
And another wonderful combination blends cultures from the far east and western cultures. Nope, it’s not always beautiful music and lines of elegant prose. Sometimes it’s just pure fun and celebration, which happens in the U.S. on Dec. 31 as the year changes. Unlike the solar (Gregorian) calendar where the new year is Jan. 1, the Chinese new year is celebrated each year at different times. It depends on when the new moon falls on that year’s first lunar month. This year it’s Jan. 23. So once again, it’s time to celebrate.
Since this is the year of the dragon, an auspicious one at that, it will be celebrated earnestly across the globe. It is all “foreign” to most Americans. The frightening beauty of the dragon is so different in Western traditions as opposed to Asian. The dragon in Western culture is frightening. It’s a mythological creature that is to be killed and disposed of; something that steals away princesses in the night, who breathes fire and attacks without provocation.
The dragon of the Far East is a benevolent creature. It brings the pearl of life, of happiness, wealth and long life to its recipients. It is a flying dragon and not an earth-bound or sea-dwelling demon as described in western/middle-eastern mythology. So to us in America, we see the great dragon parades as frightening. That long red, green, yellow and white segmented creature seems to us more like a serpent bent on devouring us, than a helpful best meant to bring us wealth and happiness.
In Asia, the dragon is sought after to join auspicious Kung Fu lion dancers parading the streets, bringing good luck for 2012. We in Jamestown may not be privy to a dragon parade, but we can celebrate the 15 days of this new year’s animal (to the full moon Feb. 7) with noodles, red fruit, greens and peaches. And we can preview the happiness and beauty of that year by attending Drenth and Woiwode’s event this evening.
If anyone has an item for this column, please send to Sharon Cox, PO Box 1559, Jamestown, ND 58402-1559.