Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Dinner Party Challenge!

Thank you, Dark Mother Goddess, for tagging me with the Dinner Party Challenge. The rules are simple -- choose six people who you would like to invite for dinner. They can be living or dead, real or fictional, friends or family, famous or infamous. Tell why you want these people at your dinner party. And what would you serve them for a meal?

Because April is National Poetry Month in Canada and the USA, I decided to invite six of my favourite poets to my dinner party. I tried to get a good mix of genders, historical eras and poetic styles.

Of course, my first pick is Sappho, lesbian poet extraordinaire of ancient Greece. I'd love to hear all about her many loves and the young women's academy she founded on the Isle of Lesbos. I bet she has a few choice words too for the Christian religion that subsequently destroyed almost all copies of her poetry and tried to erase her from history.


Next is my favourite Japanese haiku poet, Issa (1763-1827). His poems are noted for their simplicity, ruefulness, humour and respect for all living creatures. I would love to discuss "the haiku moment" with him.


My third choice is William Wordsworth (1770-1850) who wrote much deathless poetry in his time and rose to be Poet Laureate of England. Plus he had an intense and perhaps romantic relationship with his sister Dorothy that I'd love to hear more about.


Speaking of intense relationships, what dinner party would be complete without William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), passionate Irish nationalist, poet, playwright, mystic, Nobel laureate? What was it like to pursue Maud Gonne for a single night of sex after 19 years of unrequited love?


The American poet Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) helped to create modern free verse poetry. He'd probably have a lot to discuss with Issa because some of his best poetry can be very haiku-like. What intrigues me about Stevens is that he was an insurance lawyer. Yet he had such a wildly creative soul! Surely that dichotomy must have produced some profound conflict in him?


My sixth guest is the living American poet, Mary Oliver. I love her introspective poetry with its intense connection to nature, spirituality and the truth of women's lives. I'm sure she'd like to meet Sappho too.


So what does one serve poets at a dinner party? Endless coffee, cigarettes and booze leap to mind, although that's probably just an unfounded stereotype. I think I'd serve a variety of finger-foods and tapas. Catered, of course. I want to spend all my time asking questions and listening to them talk.

Okay, all you bloggers reading this, consider yourself tagged! If this challenge sounds interesting to you, do a post -- I'd love to read it!

26 comments:

mxtodis123 said...

Sounds like a party I would love to attend. Great choices.
Mary

Dark Mother said...

For the most part, poetry is just not my thing but the coffee and booze certainly perked my ears.

Thanks for participating lovie : )

Jeanne said...

What an impressive line-up! Talk about stimulating dinner conversation.....

mermaid gallery said...

Your choices are so perfect....I would be hanging with a few desperadoes....

BugginWord said...

Can I just have six NPH's please?

Francie said...

Your dinner party sounds intriguing. Wise move to have it catered! No one could afford to miss a word from that fascinating group of people!

Snap said...

Save me a seat!

ensouling said...

What fun! It's going to take me some time to figure out who I'd like to invite, but I definitely want to do this.

ensouling said...

PS the first thing I would do is crash your party. LOL

Cora said...

I would love to easedrop on that dinner party!

My Grama's Soul said...

Hmmm....WHAT AN INTERESTING POST THIS IS!! I would really have to think about who I would invite.

I might ponder this for a few days....

Jo

Andrew Green said...

I'm afraid my lineup would not be so esteemed....
Good list!

laughingwolf said...

good choices, deb!

sign me up ;) lol

SUZY8-TRACK said...

Not so much into poetry ...I would mostly have musicians and composers at my dinner.

Holly Ruggiero said...

What a great selection of guest.

Suzie said...

You certainly know how to throw an awesome dinner party! Obviously, you've put a lot of thought into it! Something that I am going to have to do, but I'm sure that my results won't be as entertaining or insightful as yours is.

Maybe I should just make sure that you are on the guest list. .you would keep everyone enthralled with all of your trips and adventures!

Tricky Nag said...

Now that would be an interesting evening!

I only ever have a list of 3-4. I will have to give this more thought.

Beatnheart said...

Thanks so much for turning me on to poets that I don’t know a heck of alot about. Shame on me I know, but
now at least I know where to turn when i want to start studying about it. Have fun and watch out for that second hand smoke...

Her Speak said...

I have honestly never heard of Sapphos--I'm gonna have to look her up! Thanks for the inspiration. :)

Fun post! Tee hee!
Much Joy,
Molly

DEZMOND said...

Wordsworth would definitely have a two or three interesting things to tell during dinner :)

Cinner said...

Great choices for your dinner party. I will have to think on this. definately will do a post soon though.

Jim said...

I consider myself 'tagged'!
Would love to be a 'fly on the wall' at that dinner party Debra......what an interesting dynamic that would create. Wonder how they would all cope with each other's egos?

Wendy said...

I love your guests, may I attend? I promise I'll bring appreciation for all the artists (esp. Mary Oliver, my fave. poet!), good wine and probably a few cat hairs that go with me everywhere ; )

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

I think we should get out diner party's together..haha

Missy said...

LOVE LOVE LOVED tihs post. I did one of my own.
It took me a little while too. Its a very stange list of mine. Yours is amazing.

mistress maddie said...

Excuse me while I comment on the wrong post. I did the same post a while back titled, A Garden Lunch with Riparian Entertainment and it was a odd list, not high brow like yours tootes! But what would you expect from the Mistress! I would have to add Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington too it also since your list has 12. Love to hear your reaction.