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Ruth Stone - Vermont State Poet - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Ruth Stone - Vermont State Poet

Middlebury, Vermont - July 30, 2007

As the new state poet, it might surprise you that Ruth Stone doesn't read a lot of it.   And she knows she's not alone.

"They don't because they think of it as difficult and they've been made to hate it in school.  I don't sit around reading poetry at all."

But she does write it.  Her style is simple, with powerful lines crafted in her 92-year-old head that punch you in the gut.

"Now I am old all I want to do is try," said Stone reciting one of her poems, "but when I was young if it wasn't easy.  I let it lie.  Now I'm old, I want to try." 

After she finished Stone reflected, "Yes, absolutely, that's me talking to my younger self."

It's that honest down to earth attitude that critics say makes her writing so special.

"You've been called one of the great contemporary American poets what do you think when you hear praise like that for your work?" asked reporter Kristin Carlson.

Ruth Stone replied, "I often don't hear it, I don't hear it, not because I don't want to but somehow people forget to tell me."

She's inspired by nature, her family, her surroundings.  Poems come to her completely finished, sometimes so fast, she barely has time to write them down.

"Do you have any idea how many poems you've written?" asked reporter Kristin Carlson.

"Well that haven't been written down an enormous amount, because when I was younger they were going through my head all the time."

She says poems are often made too complicated.  For her, they're just like songs.  This one is about being a mom of three girls.

At 92, she was surprised to discover she's committed most of her poems to memory, she just needs the first line.

She doesn't focus on her mortality, she's says life is what matters.

Enjoying each day, even this interview.

"That was a lot of fun!" said Stone.

Ruth Stone is still publishing works, one of her poems appeared in a recent New Yorker magazine, and she has a book coming out this winter.

Kristin Carlson - WCAX News

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