Sunday, April 23, 2006


Here I am, holding a rose in the
long-ago garden of my grandmother.
(Yes, Virginia, they actually did
have cameras back then.)

Yesterday, at the wonderful writer's
fest, a question was asked of the members
of a panel entitled "Does Poetry Matter?."
The question was "why do you choose
to express yourself in poetry, rather than
another genre?" Implied, (in a kind way)
was the fact that poetry is unappreciated
by the general public, definitely of small
commercial value, and often understood,
or so it seems, by only a select few.

The panel found it difficult to answer--one
answer which I loved, came from a fine
woman author named Terese Svoboda. She
said I'm obsessed with writing poetry, addicted
to it, and it feels good..

I've been thinking about this question ever since,
and I think her response comes close to my own
reasons for writing poetry. Also, in thinking back
over my writing career, I believe that poets are born,
not made. So many of the poets spoke of lonely
(some by design, some by circumstance) childhoods,
where they preferred wandering the woods and hills,
attics and gardens with only their own imagination as
companion. As I was as a child. I clearly remember,
at the age of about six or seven, stepping out the
door after supper (in the midwest the last meal of
the day was not called dinner--dinner was at noontime)
into that golden light of sunset. You know, the kind
that turns everything glowing, rich, metallic--each
leaf of a tree, each flower. And, at the same time
hearing the lonely call of mourning doves--mourning,
perhaps, the brevity of such moments and life itself.
To this day, when I hear the call of a dove, that scene
briefly flashes through my mind. It is a treasured
moment in a lifetime of small moments, and one of
my reasons, I think, for loving the earth. I want
to save the beauty of it for my own children and
grandchildren--that they may have such moments
of their own. And, perhaps, poetry is a way of doing
that--by celebrating and shining light on small events
that would otherwise go unnoticed.

More on the ideas and inspirations that came of this
wonderful gathering of writers later.

Poetry is a song, words set to our own inner music.

- mimi


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