Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A moveable feast

Shaffer gazebo

This digression (moveable text) started out as a descriptive "what is the Picnic" sidebar note. A briefer version may return there when the hosting widget co-operates.  You will note I have replaced the traditional, perhaps even iconic, Picnic image of the Shaffer Gazebo in the sidebar with an another picnic image, Monet's Déjeuner sur l'herbe.  That one too will be replaced by another picnic related image, another in a changing gallery of picnics signaling the Picnic blog's change of course. At Picnic chez Facebook, I changed the profile picture from performers at the gazebo to picnickers on the grass

Poets & Writers Picnic = poets, writers, readers, listeners. Once upon a time (not so long ago, just last summer) IRL (In Real Life) that meant convening annually at the Shaffer Hotel in Mountainair NM in the dog days of August (shades of Pope and Juvenal) for a day of spoken word under the tall trees shading the Shaffer courtyard. Now our picnic is virtual, a moveable feast... where we'll go, nobody knows. Come along ~ accept Picnic's "invitation au voyage."

Still associated with Mountainair, Picnic is no longer anchored (or beholden) to a specific event (Sunflower Festival), institutions (arts council) or locations (Shaffer Hotel). Mixing metaphors as we go, we can raise anchor and set out for any destination. Call Mountainar or just New Mexico our home port.

"Moveable feast," whether holy day or Hemingway suits picnics: what feasts could be more moveable? In the figurative context of literary and other symbolic picnics, symposia, banquets and other feasts, rich in allusions and connections, "Picnic" may no longer grace the gazebo in the dog days of August but remains our trope of choice and controlling metaphor.

Paraphrasing Hemingway, "wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for poetry is a moveable feast."

Mountainair Poets and Writers Picnic
picnickers at a past PWP, 
photo by Robin DesJardins, Imagio Studios

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