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The Pauper Witch of Grafton
October 29, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Magdalena Stage and kind of a small array collaborate to present a poem in performance.
This night, Cara will ride the line of interpretation in Robert Frost’s poem, The Pauper Witch of Grafton. Hot cider will be served.
7 PM, Friday, October 29.
“I sometimes murmur to myself, in a perverse voice, that there is more sexuality there than in several hothouses full of Dylan Thomas; and of course, there is love there.” — Randall Jarrell
Frost’s treatment of that hoariest of shibboleth’s–the New England witch–whose status as a social outcast or deviant cannot exhaust her power or demagnetize the rich field of experiential sensibility over which she presides. Rather, the two dynamics–one secular, social and rational; the other occult, poetic, and irrational–nourish each other. Instructive instances of social processes of marginalization, Frost’s two great witches, The Witch of Coos and the Pauper Witch of Grafton, use their narratives both to disclose ill-starred attempts to express supersensible vitality and to reveal the neighbor’s hellbent determination to call excess vitality supernatural.
The Pauper Witch’s story at first appears but another yarn from New England’s oldest, most shameful anthology–the tale of a girl made scapegoat to the collective fantasy life of an aging male population–the poem tells a tale stranger than sociological analysis will comprehend. The poem’s subtle and ironic conclusion is that subversives, too, may make excellent witches. – Elisa New
No worries if you gnaw on your chair.