Monday, July 23, 2012

Empty Chairs

The wonderful, Nobel prize poet from Poland, Wislawa Szymborska, wrote a poem which, if I remember right, is called "Oh, Muse".  She writes of a reading she did when fewer than a dozen people appeared, some were relatives and a few were street people looking for a place to sit for a while.

I thought of this poem this afternoon when my committee for, Reflections, the publication of the Academy of Lifelong Learning went to a senior center to do a reading.  The event was listed on the very front of their current newsletter.  One woman came and a man who had come to the center to play chess found himself with an absentee partner.  So we had an audience of two.  We carried on.  We read and talked about ALL and seem to have convinced the woman to come and take classes. We were disappointed -- the manager had been very enthusiastic but obviously did nothing but advertise it in the newsletter.  It WAS a beautiful summer day when being inside would not be most people's choice.  We were good troopers.  We have another such event planned for Thursday. We will call ahead and ask if there has been any enthusiasm and if they had a sign up list. 

If a world renown poet is lead to bemoan the turn out for a reading of hers in her home town, I think we are in good company.  And really, it's a shame more weren't there because it was a good program.  At this age the five of us who were there have been through a variety of small knocks of this kind. 

2 comments:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

June -- Many times senior center managers do not help a group's cause. If they have a lunch program someone from your groups could make out flyers and pass them out to each individual with a verbal invitation. I have worked in programming in the past and you almost need to do the cha cha cha down the hallway to get folks involved. Nice post -- barbara

June Calender said...

I'm sure you are very right. I think I'll copy your comment and forward it to the group. Our experience in the college program is very different. Thanks for saying that.