Friday, December 06, 2019
Proud of myself! After drafting two poems in the middle of last night. One about inner space and artistic expression; the other a tribute to Sally Bradshaw, who with me belonged to a cancer group and who recently passed away. Each poem feels to have potential but neither is ready for public reading. What’s impressive was having dived into deep feelings and writing about them. The topics seemed to pop-up as my pen began moving.
Sure, poetry is a step removed from bare-boned self-expression, and instead at its best is a formal method of self-expression. This is more clear to me after reading “A Poetry Handbook” by the American poet and Pulitzer Prize winner, Mary Oliver. Whereas before Oliver I’d have said, “Wow, great poem,” and left things there, now I’m thinking about word-music, line types, idea sounds, poetic forms, and whether to rhyme or not-rhyme.
Ideas and activities don’t brew from one source, usually a string of inputs makes some sort of new or renewed action happen. I think back years to my interests in poets–passions of long ago, and until recently, had not bothered to read a poem. But I saw a NYT article about Sarah Yerkes. At 101 years of age, she’d published a first book–of poems–after taking first-ever poetry-writing lessons. Her published book, “Days of Blue and Flame” (2019) is a wonderful read, by a retired person who’s now in assisted living, and whose younger activities were creative and intelligent.
Yerkes reflects on her life’s past accomplishments, relationships, and many then-thoughts. She replays her earlier-self against what she’s come to understand as an elderly. She’s created lovely and powerful stuff.
I’m not sure what I want to do, except perhaps learn a bit more about where I’ve come to after long trying to do my best in life. And wondering what all brings me to this point–what methods, what transitions, what losses and gains. So, I’ll keep working on my poems and attempt again to start drawing. Not much to lose, perhaps lots to gain.
Dear Friends: Have a wonderful day. Diana