My friend and fellow poet, Kat Good-Schiff and I have a tradition. Every year around Spring we visit the graves of our favorite poets together. We bring food and drink and read poems to the dead.
This tradition started three years ago when Kat visited me and I brought her to my favorite place in the whole world: Forest Hills Cemetery. Besides being the most serene landscape I've ever seen, it is also the resting place of the body of Anne Sexton, a poet whose has been crucial to my development as an artist and a woman. Each year, we visit Anne and read her amazing poems full of passion and hope. Along the ledges of her gravestone are piles of lime and pudding stones, acorns and scraps of weathered parchment. Offerings to a woman who could not have known what impact she had (or would have) on the world before she departed it.
We've also visited Emily Dickinson. At Emily's grave there is a small, wind-splintered box where visitors drop notes, poems, and wishes to the "grandmother" of American poetry.
These visits make me remember: who I am and why I do what I do. To live on that edge and to speak to what needs to be seen and spoken. To hold dear what will never die.