Poetry and Parry


At Chaucer’s book store in Santa Barbara, CA with poet John Ridland and singer-songwriter Parry Gripp.

My husband loves music — and there are certain bands that very much remind me of our first year together at UCSB. Nerf Herder is one of them. In fact, we named our second daughter after one of their songs, “Vivian” Listen to “Vivian”

I love poetry, and I don’t think I would have thought I could be a poet if it hadn’t been for John Ridland, my poetry professor at UCSB (and a wonderful poet himself) who read at Chaucer’s bookstore last Thursday night. John read from his new translation of the fourteenth-century poem Pearl, which you can find on Amazon Link to Pearl

So, imagine my surprise last Thursday night when John introduced me to Aylene, who is the wife of Parry Gripp, who happens to be the lead-singer of Nerf Herder. Parry and Aylene were also students of John Ridland at UCSB and had come to show their support for his new book.

And now I am doubly surprised to learn that Parry is also responsible for the amazingly catchy song, “It’s Raining Tacos,” and many other kid’s songs. Hear “It’s Raining Tacos” here

He also has a great kid’s book out called Somebunny Loves Me, which is about loving and caring for animals.  Link to Somebunny Loves Me on Amazon

In my opinion, there are no places paradoxes live more beautifully than in poetry.  Two disparate things can hold onto each other in a poem.  A poem becomes a marriage of ideas that might not exist so well, or even at all, outside of a poem.  Poetry makes possible the impossible.  People come back to life and destroyed buildings are rebuilt in a poem.  Our strange other selves find themselves meeting in a poem.  The details of one experience meet the details of another experience – there is a weaving that takes place – a making of the cloth of poetry, which is endlessly interesting and hopeful.

Books and music hold these same magical abilities — and so maybe I’m not surprised to find John Ridland and Parry and Aylene Gripp in the same room together after all.





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