Insight on a Fellowship

In his third blog installment, Glastonbury teacher and writer David Polochanin, recipient of the James Marshall Fellowship, shares two of his original poems after reading poetry in the Dodd Collection, from the Joel Oppenheimer and Robert Creeley papers.

Blog post 3: On Poetry

Transcript of Cartography 1957 Celebrating the peace typescript

“Cartography” and “Celebrating the Peace” by Joel Oppenheimer (Joel Oppenheimer Papers, Box 11, Archives & Special Collections, University of Connecticut Libraries). All rights reserved. No unauthorized reproduction allowed by any means for any reason.


Who would have

thought that

these papers,

with their typewriter

ink fading,

would see the

light of day

again, let alone

on this windy

Wednesday morning

in March?

When the poet

fashioned these words

40 years ago

they were

nothing special,

drafts scattered

in the author’s mind,

printed in a cluttered office,

gathering on the shelf

and the desk top,

in piles on the floor

against the wall,

and others in a stack

on the sill

beside a cactus.

The plant

(and the author)

have long since died

but today

I open a manila

folder and the poetry

comes alive, quite

a miracle, actually.

His words of reflection

and longing, poems

commemorating seasons,

and scenes

in New York City

that the poet likely

saw each day, planes

rising above the

Financial District,

papers blowing

on the sidewalk,

a bird that spent half

its morning jumping

from branch to branch

in a single tree

as a stream of taxis

formed one line

from here

to Central Park,

all of them turning at once,

then disappearing on

behind a monument

when I close this folder

and open the next.



“The Epic Expands” by Robert Creeley (Robert Creeley Papers, Box 2:Folder 48, Archives & Special Collections, University of Connecticut Libraries).  All rights reserved.  No unauthorized reproduction allowed by any means for any reason.

Sipping A Coke

Back when I was a kid

we used to sit on a porch

and sip Coke.


The parents sat in

rocking chairs,

holding their drink


in a bottle;

the young ones sat

on the concrete steps


flicking with their non-

drinking hand

the tiniest of pebbles


and the sun sat


in the sky.


We sipped it together.

We sipped it because

it was good. People


didn’t die because

of soft drinks, then.

No one developed


an addiction to caffeine

and diabetes

wasn’t a problem.


Having this drink allowed

us to chat about life,

about the dog’s laziness,


how the garden

was coming along,

and there was


a baseball game

on the radio

Saturday night.


Yes, those afternoons

had some kind

of timeless element.


I can still taste

the sweet soda

in my mouth


and I wonder

to this day

as I read this poem


what that

is all




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *