Sarah Beth Costello
February 11, 2009
The themes of the evening were comedy and parody as English Professor, Kevin Boyle, shared original and creative poems at an open poetry reading Tuesday evening.
Dozens gathered in the Isabella Cannon Room on Elon University’s campus to hear Boyle’s dramatic reading of “The Mushrooms of Alamance County,” “Five” (an ode to a favorite number) and “Chicken s–t for the soul.”
Boyle’s creative inspiration spawns from different events, circumstances and influences.
“When Malena Morling was here (our visiting poet for the fall),” said Boyle, “She had some poems that had to do with numbers or colors…I found it annoying that she could write a poem about a number…And so I decided I’d write one.”
Boyle’s poems are a combination of humor, science, religion, bodily functions and references to daily living.
Another Kevin Boyle original, “The Mushrooms of Alamance County,” is based on the well-known novel, “The Bridges of Madison County.”
This poem is a humorous piece about the annoyance of prevalent mushrooms, but also discusses racial prejudice and economic differences. The poem parodies the Biblical Gospel of Luke 12:27 at one point:
“Consider how [the mushrooms] neither spin nor reap, nor sow, and yet they just rip up through the ground like little Hiroshimas – American as apple pie…”
Boyle has published several poems and achieved the Mary Belle Campbell Poetry Book Publication Award. Boyle is a Philadelphia native who now lives in North Carolina and teaches at Elon University in Elon, N.C.
Boyle reads “The Mushrooms of Alamance County”