While I Breathe, I Hope

owlLast week I visited South Carolina for the very first time. I learned their state motto: Dum Spiro Spero (While I breathe, I hope) and their state dance: The Shag. I also gave a reading at Coastal Carolina University and took part in “The Moveable Feast,” a very cool reading series organized by Litchfield Books. The poet Dan Albergotti (check out his wonderful poem “Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale”) was my host and guide, and, knowing my interest in old graveyards, he took me to Kingston Church (1756) and All Saint’s Parish (1767). Below are some shots, which pair well with the New England Graveyard Slideshow already up on this site.┬áThe owl to the left is from the grave of Maxine Dickey, wife of former poet laureate James Dickey. I had never seen an owl on a grave before. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Salem, Massachusetts, but I have always found old cemeteries inspiring–each stone a mystery to be solved.