Welcoming words by the late poet James Wright now greet travelers at a rest area "Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota."
Garrison Keillor, host of public radio's "A Prairie Home Companion," read his one-time professor's poem "A Blessing" at a dedication of the poetic plaque, a ceremony attended by 200 high school students - and, fittingly, a few horses."A Blessing" tells of horses n a field, of Rochester and twilight. Keillor said despite the simple joy in the words, Wright was in trouble when he wrote them. His marriage had failed, he was drinking heavily and on the verge of losing his job at the University of Minnesota.
Wright went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for his poetry. He also taught at Macalester College.
Keillor, who came up with the idea to put the poem on a rest-stop plaque off I-90, led the crowd Monday in a recitation of the poem, ending with these lines: "Suddenly, I realize / That if I stepped out of my body I would break / Into blossom."