Friday, May 05, 2006

Sendak, Seeger, and the poets

The April 17, 2006, issue of The New Yorker contains a wonderful coincidence in its profiles of Maurice Sendak and Pete Seeger: how both of them had encounters with poets (women, no less), the kind of encounters one tells stories about, as Seeger does in this story from when he was in high school, where he edited the newspaper:

The playwright and poet Edna St. Vincent Millay visited the school to see a production of one of her plays. "They told me that, with my newspaper, I should interview her," Seeger said. "I had never interviewed anyone famous. I didn't know what to ask. Finally I blurted out, 'What do you think of Shakespeare?' I don't remember anything else of the interview."

(Alec Wilkinson, "The Protest Singer: Pete Seeger and American Folk Music," in The New Yorker, April 17, 2006)

Sendak's encounter with a poet came later in life:

He also owns a Charlie Chaplin figure, given to him by the poet Marianne Moore, who was a neighbor of his on West Ninth Street; in the nineteen-seventies, Sendak would visit Moore and read aloud to her.

(Cynthia Zarin, "Not Nice: Maurice Sendak and the Perils of Childhood," in The New Yorker, April 17, 2006)

I find these juxtapositions particularly amusing since Sendak and Seeger were childhood heroes of mine.

(Unfortunately, neither profile is available on-line, so I could not provide links.)

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