In 2010, Special Collections purchased a book called Vegetable Verselets. Published in 1911, it contains poetry about (you guessed it!) vegetables by Margaret Hays. Many of the poems include illustrations by Hays’ sister. Our copy here is one only 7 or 8 cataloged in public or academic library hands.
The other reason we’re featuring Vegetable Verselets this week, aside from the hilarious nature of the poems, is to introduce the event that this book inspired. After it arrived here, the volume went into a display case, where it then caught the attention of a professor, Tracy Cowden, in the Department of Music, who took an idea and ran. Several months later, Special Collections is pleased to be part of a new kind of collaboration (at least for us)! In April 2012, a song cycle featuring eight of the poems from the book will premiere at Virginia Tech! The links below include both an article about the creation of this song cycle, as well as a video clip preview of two pieces. As we get closer to the big day, you’ll be seeing and hearing more about the event (the when/where and why you might just want to join us). We’ll even post more of the pages, too. For now, enjoy the teasers:
And while you’re at it, consider this: Is reading about the soap opera-esque lives of your vegetables any better than eating them? Lettuce know!