Have you carried unfinished things around with you from place to place, and hoped to make something new out of them?
This spring, looking at the two shelves of handwritten, typed, bound, loose and even tattered poems and drawings that I’ve carried from childhood through a dozen moves, I had to do something about it. And so on April 28th, I published a new little chapbook of 28 poems with 3 of my illustrations, Natural Supernatural Love.
I wrote the poems from 1978 up to 2012, and one of them, Library Lantern, this spring. Most of the poetry I’ve written over the years I lost, and I’m trying to keep better track of things now. Those poems I kept, express love of nature and explore human connections with the supernatural. From earthquakes to lightning storms, the poems are tiny stories of a stream of union with the natural world, of supernatural fears and visions. And the section of love poems probe both tender and violent bonds between lovers and society.
Poets I’ve loved are Robert Frost for his natural poems, Poe for his supernatural visions permeated with despair, and William Blake for his unique views that are so full of hope. Who are your favorite poets?
I have to thank poet Dennis Brutus from South Africa, who helped me work on my own poems when I lived in Philadelphia. His poems woke me up, showing me that he could wrap up the immediate social and political present into words with poetry. He helped me work on Dover Air Force Base, included in my new poetry book. We sent a few letters back and forth after his poetry workshop that I had joined, and I treasured his advice.
After I sent Dennis Brutus a nonfiction collection of stories, told to me by Philadelphia homeless people I knew, he sent me a postcard…
“An artist who shows no care for the homeless, reveals soulessness” -Dennis Brutus
At first I thought writing poems and making drawings was only for me. Later, I came to see that sharing them helps show how each of us care about our world. Do you have poems of your own or a favorite poet to share? Please leave a comment and I’ll look forward to hearing from you.
Natural Supernatural Love is making its way to book distributors now, while the ebook editions and samples are up at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/156585 .
8 responses to “Natural Supernatural Love Poems”
Lovely post on poetry, and your poetry is lovely! It’s really motivating and inspiring that you transfer your works to published collections and books! 🙂
Thank you for your encouragement Sophia, you know this means so much to me. Publishing is so many steps, but then the author is able to share with other readers and writers, so it is worth the time spent.
It’s a quiet and beautiful Saturday afternoon here and I’m treating myself to reading other writer’s blogs and came upon your work. I love the mix of drawing and words. The poetry feels honest and open, and evocative. I’ll be happily following your work.
Thanks Thomas for sharing your impressions. Many times poems or stories come to me as a drawing. For this little book I added a few of the drawings.
I have a favorite book of poetry I picked up a few years ago in the hope it would help my literary prose. It’s called The Discovery of Poetry, A Field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems. It’s a collection of several hundred poems sellected for their excellence in diferent styles/types of poetry, and it has comments by Frances Mayes (who wrote Under the Tuscan Sun). I love the collection becuse it not only opened my eyes to aspects about writing poetry that I wasn’t aware of, but many of the poems are just so surprising, and I’ve never heard of many of the poets, and never would have if I hadn’t picked this book up that day when a Borders was closing and everything was on sale.
The Discovery of Poetry, sounds like a great resource. I’ll have to look for it, thanks Cynthia! I’ve discovered works of favorite contemporary poets on twitter, like Samuel Peralta @semaphore, Stephan Anstey @mranstey, Costis Demos @CostisDemos and Michael Coleman @nebulalights.
It was songwriters who first reached me that I realized the power of words. When shown Preludes by T.S. Eliot I was completely astonished and became passionate about poetry. There are many great works to be read and discovered, and possibly some that can affect and change lives.
Love T.S.Eliot, Michael, and I’ll look for Preludes. Thanks! There have been several times that reading poetry collections changed my life in some important way – W.H.Auden collected work was one, and Dennis Brutus “Knuckles Sirens Boots” another.