December 19th: Philip E. Burnham, Jr. Features

Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery at 106 Prospect Street with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m. Featuring December 19th will be poet Philip E. Burnham, Jr.

Philip E. Burnham, Jr. was born in Rochester, New York, and grew up in New England. He is a graduate of Harvard College and served as American Vice Consul in Marseille, France. After receiving a doctorate in Medieval History from Tufts University, he taught in public and private secondary schools and colleges in the Boston area. He has published three books of poetry, My neighbor Adam (2003) and Sailing from Boston (2003), and his newest, Housekeeping (2005). He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A sample poem is included below.

Voices of The Dead

From the radio, voices of the dead
Fill the kitchen like Christmas cinnamon
This low, late december, sun day pink red
Cloud, yellow morning, disembodied sounds

Of music for opera, concert stage
Performed as a lyric necrology,
A year's sum of loss, encore passages
To other shores, scores with these noteworthy

Musicians, their places left to the young
Who play muted instruments, the tempo
A reverence for keys, strings, brass, winds, drums
Voices untuned, unstrung, adagio.

But your songs for children and for love were
Never recorded to be replayed when
You were out of touch, time; their echoes bear
On my hearing as ocean waves wear through

The icy gates of great December's end
and winter's opening, songs whisper in
My heart's good ear where I may often spend
Time's purse to recall you as I listen.