A blog about writing and all things story…
My husband woke up this morning to the sound of my crying. He turned over and saw that I was propped up in bed reading poetry. “Oh.” He mumbled and rolled over. He knows me well. Poetry makes me cry.
Last week my new writing mentor Jack Remick told me to read more poetry. So I dug out all my forgotten books and have read poetry all weekend.
When I re-read Longfellow’s, The Children’s Hour, I remembered climbing on my father, him tossing us in the air and catching us in arms of love. I remembered my father before what I call ‘the dark times’ began. Only in the cryptic images and fragmented words of poetry can all that my father was, fit, and be at peace. Longfellow’s poem gives those transitory days back to me for a moment.
When I read Poe’s, Annabelle Lee, I remembered my grandfather – how he’d take me, at three years old, plucked – chosen out of the ten cousins, to sit in the big fluffy chair in his office where he’d then pace back and forth and read to me. When I read and re-read Poe, I heard his husky voice, the longing in his soul, the hurt he could never forget, the loss, and mostly his love for words, rhymes’ and perfect phrases. “Learn to love poetry,” he’d say. “You’ll always have a treasure deep inside that nobody can steal away from you.”
When I read Poe’s, Alone, it resonated deeply, not with who they were, but with who I have become.
Reading good poetry cracks me open and accesses my
emotions in a way no other form of writing does.
Between the tiny crafted lines I see images, hear songs and laughter, feel heartbreak and longing. Reading poetry has reconnected me to what made me want to be a writer in the first place; sitting in grandpa’s chair and listening to him read Annabelle Lee – or running hand in hand along the beach, being picked up and tossed like a rag doll into a cloudless sky by my smiling father …before the earth was cloaked in shadows, and he…no longer there to catch me.
I read poetry again, then I remembered, then I cried, and now I’m writing. Thanks Jack.
(The three poems I mentioned are copied into my ‘Pages’ if you’re not familiar with them.)
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