Poetic Obsession

I’m taking a journey through other people’s lives.  Through the stories of authors published, through their insecurities and perseverance.  More often than not, I hear myself in their stories.  Neurotic obsessions with the written word.  Undying insistence that they deserve to be published.

Maybe I do not deserve it yet, I often think.  But, I will.  I will write and write again until it works.  Until it clicks and all makes sense and someone will want to pay to read it, even if really, I only write it for myself.  Writing for myself does not pay the bills.

Each day I add agents to the growing list, I read stories.  Story after story of not giving up.  Author blogs.  Each day a different theme, a different message, still somehow threaded together, connected between entries, shouting truths at me.

Today, poetry.

First, it was Janet Fitch’s advice to read poetry to learn how to write.

Then, it was a young agent, stumbled across after chasing down Barbara Kingsolver, who when googled, I discovered was the poet of delightful oddities.

So, poetry it is.

My late grandmother was a poet.  Ever since I was a child, I’ve carried around this book from house to house that belonged to her.  It is filled with poems, pencil marked with her favorites, an extra, my favorite of her favorites, glued to the inside of the back cover.  Somehow, one book of poems, created an imaginary bridge between the living and the dead, a relationship between us over shared words.

Just reading poetry helps my words flow.  Poetry, poetry, poetry.  Such a simple, often overlooked piece of the writing world, yet home to so many wonderful secrets.  I never thought I liked poetry until just now.  Turns out I’ve liked it all along.

Any poets out there?  Any poems to share?  I can feel a new obsession brewing.  A goal, perhaps, of one poem read each night.  New inspiration.

On the inside front cover, the name Frank Schmold is written in cursive, a mysterious figure in my imagination.
One of my grandmother’s favorites I read aloud over and over as a melancholy teenager.
Rose petals from those melancholy teenaged years, pressed for posterity.
Last, but not least, the poem my grandmother glued to the inside back cover.  I’ve always wondered who or what it made her think of…
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One thought on “Poetic Obsession

  1. I love poetry!!! I have a whole bunch I wrote in high school, which inspired my post "Ode to My Father" as well as sharing poetry with my students. They thought it was a boring genre, but actually got pretty into it. LOVE that you have your grandmother's book! That is so cool! I wish I owned something old and cool. Just makes me want to go thrifting that much more.

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