Last weekend my husband and I celebrated our anniversary at Lake Winnipesaukee. It was too chilly and rainy to be on the lake; we stuck to watching loons and herons. We toured Canterbury Shaker Village.
And Castle in the Clouds, a mansion built by Thomas Plant who left home at age 14 to work and retired at 51 from what was then the world’s largest shoe factory to live in a house with a view of the mountains and 36 mile long lake. We hiked by some amazing waterfalls.
Another day we were welcomed warmly at The Frost Place: A Permanent Home and Museum for Poets and Poetry in Franocnia, NH where Robert Frost lived with his wife and four children from 1915 to 1920. It was gorgeous, if remote. The hills didn’t seem suited to farming and those walls most have seemed closer and closer each long winter day. My husband asked me if this was where Frost threatened to shoot his wife, and I think it might be. That was some rough twenty or so years of writing before his first book was published.
But it was good to be there in summer, even if it was raining. Peter and I walked around a lupine and daisy filled meadow and woods with poems posted on trees. Inside the house we were invited to touch and take pictures and revel in the quietness where wonderful words were written.
I love the way this place is not just a marker of important history, but where new poems are inspired, written, and heard aloud. Readings sometimes take place in the Henry Holt Barn. I bought The Mind-Body Problem the most recent collection of Katha Pollitt who’s also well known for her political essays in The Nation, and was the first poet in residence at the Frost Place in 1977, a tradition that continues along with summer workshops.
Jone at Check it Out is covering the Poetry Friday round-up, and offering words from Jane Kenyon, another great New Hampshire poet.