Labor Day is significant in Maine – the tourists and summer people stream south and we year-round residents sigh in relief at getting our state back. The kids are back in school. I live very close to Westbrook High School, known for its marching band. In the end of August, the band starts practicing in the big parking lot in the evenings, and I hear it all. Because they are good, and these kids and teachers are dedicated, I rather like hearing them, and it’s always evocative of a new beginning in autumn. Fall is my favorite season in New England even though I admit that the coming winter brings a bit of dread.
This week we lost Seamus Heaney, a terrific poet. Many years ago when I was in college in Oregon I went to hear him read to a packed house. I was too shy to approach him. I’m not bragging, but I am related to Truman Capote, whose original name was Truman Streckfus Persons. I admire his writing but was too chicken to ever write him a fan letter, and I never met him. I regret this. Advice: tell writers you love their work. Get books signed. Writers never tire of hearing from fans, especially in person, and of course admiration means more to a non-famous person, like most poets!