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A New Hampshire Poet Laureate Lifts Her City’s Covid-19 Advisories


The themes vary.

“Each week I have just been writing about what has been on my mind,” said Ms. Truax, who is also the current Maine beat poet laureate, adding that she writes the poems on Saturdays.

One poem paid tribute to a new class of nurses in Nichinan, Japan, one of Portsmouth’s sister cities.

Ms. Truax and students from Portsmouth High School had planned to visit a school and its companion nursing school in Nichinan in April; the trip was canceled because of the pandemic.

Inspired by the nurses, Ms. Truax wrote a poem about them. It began:

As you finished your formal studies

the world has demonstrated

what an enormous responsibility

is being pinned upon you

along with a pretty white cap.

Another poem, called “Transitions,” was about masks and saying goodbye to a fellow poet.

Today I find the mask useful

along with sunglasses

to hide my tear streaked face,

not wanting to scare the barista

who has enough to deal with

behind his own mask.

For July 4, Ms. Truax created a “found poem” by extracting lines from Alexander Hamilton’s essays.

“Like so many, I had just seen ‘Hamilton’ for the first time, and it was what I was thinking about,” Ms. Truax said.

In the most recent Sunday newsletter, tucked amid news of the death rates of Covid-19 in the United States and New Hampshire, there was an ode to fishing by Ms. Truax.

At about the age of eight

my father gave me a fishing pole.

A girly one, pretty, like an accessory.

Bright blue stripes — how I loved it!

Ms. Truax said she hoped that the poems provide comfort.

“If they help anybody at all get through this difficult time, I would be content,” she said.

One unexpected result: inspiring a reporter to open his article with a haiku.



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