It is a new year, one with no mistakes in it. I hope that 2016 holds wonderful accomplishments and opportunities for my book, as well as new endeavors regarding poetry and other writing projects.
Monet’s Table is done. I collected the remaining pieces on Dec. 29. I received many positive compliments from people regarding the concept of Facets, as well as on the black and white photos and gallery wrapped canvasses.
The December reading at University of Hartford was somewhat chaotic, and rather unexpected. There were at least 65 people at the CPS holiday party. Two poems were presented by lecturers, and both got my juices flowing.
The first poem was written by Jane Hirschfield. She is a poet with several books to her credit. The poem discussed was called The Supple Deer.
The Supple Deer
The quiet opening
between fence strands
perhaps eighteen inches.
Antlers to hind hooves,
four feet off the ground,
the deer poured through.
No tuft of the coarse white belly hair left behind.
I don’t know how a stag turns
into a stream, an arc of water.
I have never felt such accurate envy.
Not of the deer:
To be that porous, to have such largeness pass through me.
Originally published in Come, Thief (Knopf, 2011); all rights reserved. Copyright © by Jane Hirshfield.
The next poem presented was The Snow Man by Wallace Stevens. He was an insurance executive for The Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company in Hartford, CT. and wrote his magnificent poems while walking to work or in the rare moments he had to reflect and digest the days events. The two poems seem to have a common thread through them. They are about things seen as memories of a passing incident. They both represent the passing of time as seen in a moments reflection by another. Both poems have had numerous analyses, but the best one is that which the individual reader feels.
The Snow Man
One must have a mind of winter To regard the frost and the boughs Of the pine-trees crusted with snow; And have been cold a long time To behold the junipers shagged with ice, The spruces rough in the distant glitter Of the January sun; and not to think Of any misery in the sound of the wind, In the sound of a few leaves, Which is the sound of the land Full of the same wind That is blowing in the same bare place For the listener, who listens in the snow, And, nothing himself, beholds Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
From Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens by Wallace Stevens. Copyright © 1954 by Wallace Stevens.
I was able to read one of my poems from Facets. I chose Provincelands – Sunrise Ebb Tide. It was well received and I was very glad for the event, hearing many others poetry. That was perhaps the best part of the CPS party.
So, what is happening for January? The month is preparing for winter weather, so I have nothing coming up immediately. I will be visiting the Enfield, CT. library this week to measure out wall space. Lisa Sprague, the head librarian, has offered to have me set up my photos at the library for the last part of January, and the month of February. It will be in conjunction with my presentation of Facets on February 24th at the library.
I will continue seeking out avenues for lectures and art exhibits throughout January. The reading planned at Fox Hill Center has fallen through, which is also part of the reality of poetry and writing.
It is time for poetry and short story contests. I am submitting my poem “Walking With Deer” to the Al Savard Memorial Poetry Contest by January 31, 2016. The poem is still a working poem, and it is not yet in its final stage, but I will post what I have so far.
Walking With Deer
Roar of wind at my windows.
The chunked up roadsides from the snowplow
Make it hard to walk.
Behind an old red barn
There floated deer tracks to the marsh.
Deep they cut under bending firs,
Nothing but a buff coat for warmth.
White pine sentries hug the hoof broken marsh trail
My treaded boot walks beside the deer tracks.
A burst of drift, a ghost flying through sunshine
Hits my face, stings it,
So unlike the deer
Untouched by cold or wind –
To achieve their envious crossings.
Their view in day and mirrored moonshine
See more pines and snow and grassy islands
Nestled in springfed frozen waters.
We see them differently,
An obstacle feared
Or a necessity to overtake.
I hear the snort first,
Look up and there stands a doe.
Startled, our reveries disturbed,
In a flash of white she turns and dashes
Back through the woods.
I turn to go back home.
Retrace the steps that walk beside the deers.
We are alone along the trail,
Share a common moment, separate yet the same.
Only our tracks break the snow.
I was walking with the deer as close as I could.
To walk with deer is wondrous.
That is all I have for now. Some of the wind has been knocked out of my sails regarding Facets, but it will not stop me from pursuing the purity and truth of poetry. I will always have faith that something I write adds joy to another’s life, or gives them hope and a brief happiness. It is not always about the bottom line. When it comes to art whether it be written, painted, photographed, sculpted, or any other method of creation, to pursue excellence and to strive to be the best we can be is what makes it worthwhile, and why we continue to create.