Poems On Wheels: N. Scott Momaday
Last spring the Covid-19 pandemic paused our routines and altered our lives. As shelter-in-place and social distancing measures became the norm, many of us experienced an increased level of isolation. But as we have had to forego movie theaters, museums, and concert halls, we have also come to understand, in some small way, the profound cultural isolation that affects many of our senior neighbors.
Over the past year, we’ve worked to serve our most vulnerable neighbors—those homebound due to age, illness, or disability—by providing a sense of connection through poetry. Through our partnership with Meals on Wheels, we’ve delivered poems alongside meal trays and emergency food boxes to tens of thousands of homebound and isolated seniors throughout the country. What began as a program to serve seniors in New York City has expanded to a national effort that stretches from New York to Los Angeles to Baltimore, San Diego, Portland, and San Antonio.
As we close this month—National Poetry Month—we’re pleased to share with you the latest Poems on Wheels poem. “Sweetgrass” by N. Scott Momaday, winner of the PSA’s 2021 Frost Medal for lifetime achievement in poetry, will be delivered this spring. We hope it will provide the recipients with both literary sustenance and a sense of connection. In the words of Beth Shapiro, Executive Director of Citymeals on Wheels, “seeing a poem that we sent on their refrigerator, or taped to a wall, it’s just confirmation of the value that not only the food we bring, but the caring that we do—it is a true lifeline for so many.”
Thank you for supporting the Poetry Society of America’s Poems on Wheels program. We wish you and your loved ones a peaceful and hopeful spring.