Facets: Homespun Poetry and Photography of New England

Final bookcover.

ISBN: 978-0-692-47537-9

Book subject: Poetry and Photography

Publication Date: September 18, 2015

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View Facets photos in color at: https://junemita.smugmug.com/Facets-In-Color/

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Published by June L. Mita in partnership with Create Space.

Price: $14.95 U.S.D.

Poetry has been a part of my life from the time my mother knew of my impending birth. She read poems to me at night while I rested comfortably in the dark, warm chambers of that secret place called the womb. Her favorite poet was Longfellow.
My father enjoyed Robert Burns and read his poetry in his best Scottish brogue. His favorite style of poetry, though, was the Limerick. He made them up seemingly out of the air. His fondness for the Limerick added a fantastic humor to our daily lives and encouraged my brother, sister and I to create our own rhymes.
People paid my father to come up with Limericks on the spot at bars and restaurants. The Limerick he wrote and won a contest for went like this:

There was a young lady named Perkins.
She had a great fondness for gherkins.
She went to a tea
And ate 23
And pickled her internal workins.
Richard Pride Sundgren

Poetry is part of the fabric of my family and we found numerous ways to incorporate it into our daily activities. Singing the blues with rhyme and heart as we swung on the swings in our yard was one of our favorite poetic expression. Another was an incessant variety of knock knock jokes that kept us laughing and lighthearted. Next to Burns and Longfellow was the Good Book, which is full of the best poetry ever written. The sturdy, practical love of being a Connecticut Yankee and a deeply Christian family got us through many trials during the 60’s and 70’s.
My first published poem was “Autumn Nocturne.” It appeared in a 1986 state anthology, Connecticut The Beautiful, and I include it in this collection. It appeared in a national anthology through the American Poetry Society in 1987. That ignited a flame that has never gone out. Several more poems and essays appeared in college and Christian publications.
When my daughter was in my womb, I read Longfellow and Burns to her, as well as many of the best British classic poets such as Blake and Tennyson. That began her lifelong love for the genre, and she has her own collection of published works that have appeared in various college publications.
Facets is a concept collection I have termed homespun poetry because it gathers the warmth of family, history, and generational presence in New England. It is a concept because it is written in sections that reflect some facets of the chosen “chapter.” The work is interconnected and flows through a natural passage of life experiences. All the poems come from the New England landscape, but especially that of Connecticut. Several use our hometown of Tolland, Connecticut as a backdrop for place and perspective. The topography of Tolland is filled with rolling hills. There are marshes, rivers and lakes and forested trails and parks. It is also a place of farms, some that have been in the town since it was settled in 1715.
I am a collector of local lore and history and the mysteries our stonewalls and shaded forests guard. Several of the pieces I include in this book explore those mysteries and puzzlements of our region. Poems such as “The Weeds” and “Evening Song of the Leatherman” are two in particular that call upon facts and use creative imagination to convey the story. They both touch upon love and friendship as well as a personal relationship with God, honor, and glory. Facets is primarily about love, though; not the kind of romantic love that most people think of, but the many facets that love encompasses. There is the love of nature; love of family; love of childhood; love of pets; love of friendship, and responsible love as our parent’s age and we become the parent to them.
Camera’s and photography were another passion of our family. My father loved taking pictures until his old bellows camera stopped working. That did not matter to me. I was drawn to that dead camera with a natural curiosity. I constantly had it with me, pretending to take photos. From the age of 2, I rarely was found without that camera in my hand or up against my eye as I composed through the screen. A beautiful blending occurs between the art of poetry and the art of photography.
The black and white photos I have paired the poems with are my choices to convey a visual embodiment of the poetry. Often the image stands alone as a poem, without any need for words. A philosophy comes out on occasion with the short prose style quotes I have combined with some of the photos. I shot many of the photos around my hometown of Tolland, CT.
I hope you enjoy the labor of love I present in this book. Poetry comes from the heart. We will write and speak it as long as there are people who love, who go through hard times, or who just need to know that they are not alone with their joys and their agonies. Love is the truth of who we are in all its goodness, its passions, its losses; its facets.
The facets of our lives, of course,
All differ from each others.
A million storms and rainbows
Formed our fathers and mothers.

The photographs contained herein
Are portions of the poems
That race apace the light of day
To consecrate our homes.

And everyone we’ve known and loved
And all we’ve done and seen
Are met among the images of
People we have been.

These facets are my own, I know,
But some of them are yours.
So take a look, enjoy the book
For all that art endures!

-Julyn S. Pride

About the Author:

Julyn S. Pride

Julyn S. Pride is a pseudonym for Connecticut writer/photographer June L. Mita. June is proud of her New England heritage and created her name to honor those roots. The Prides are a very old family from Maine, and were some of the earliest settlers of Windham County. Many of her family still remains there.
Her first published poem, “Autumn Nocturne,” appeared in an anthology entitled Connecticut The Beautiful. It also appeared in American Poetry Anthology edited by John Frost.
Her essays,” Lesson of the Beetle” and “The Power of Imaging in Prayer and Healing appeared in Puck. A publication through Cardiff University in Wales, it introduced the international community to her philosophy called natruism.
As June Mita, she wrote as a freelance journalist/photojournalist for several Connecticut newspapers, including the Journal Inquirer, based in Manchester, CT.
Her photography has won numerous awards and prizes at local art shows and fairs. She also participated in a Connecticut photography project called Market Roots, through the Coventry Regional Farmers Market. She received her photography training through the New York Institute of Photography.
She makes her home in Tolland County. Connecticut with her husband, Michael, her daughter Kathleen, and her cat Coal.