Conrad A. Balliet was weaned on the likes of "Mary had a little lamb," bounced on his mother's knee to the tune of the Pennsylvania Dutch rhyme of "ride-a ride-a Geilie," grew up in a home with Kipling's "If" on a plaque on the wall, and spent his adolescence with The Best Loved Poems of the American People, fancying himself as A.E. Housman's Shropshire Lad.
After brief and not very successful efforts at painting (houses and fences), bus driving, and the U.S. Army, he worked his way as an English major through Muhlenberg, Lehigh, and Cornell. His academic interests paralleled his personal growth from late Victorian to early modern, and he spent, part time, many years wandering through Europe and the lower reaches of the imagination trying to understand and explain the poetic and human complexities of W.B. Yeats and his beloved Maud Gonne MacBride.
He came to WYSO in 1993, and still does what he enjoyed doing at Wittenberg University for thirty years: reads and recites poetry whenever possible, and encourages people to share his appreciation and love of images and metaphors, rhythms and rhymes.