On Books of Poetry

On Books of Poetry–

I came late to poetry, so in a rush was I. A rush to accomplish, to do, always to have more to do. And although we can’t change our basic personalitites, I am now at a time in my life where I am more interested in being, and thinking – mainly thinking.

A few years ago, I found myself in a poetry class, and soon everything I saw, everything I thought about, became a poem. I started writing, sometimes only in my head, sometimes getting out of bed in the middle of the night to make sure that a line, a phrase, was written in a scrawl just legible enough to be deciphered the next morning. And, thus, my love affair with poetry began.

Last month I lost a good friend, an accomplished poet. She too left the world of paid work, of wins and losses, to concentrate on looking at, and writing about, the world – hers and that of others. In her last weeks we spent some time together, not talking, just being quiet, together. Since her death I thought about contacting her family, to ask if I could have one of her books. I just wanted one that she had held, perhaps read, perhaps loved. Then I learned that she had left her entire collection to her poetry group, and they were kind enough to make the books available to anyone who might be interested. I went with the intention of taking one, just one, to remember her by.

In fact, I came home with a treasure trove of poetry, works by poets whom I had meant to read, when I had time. So now I live with Fred Chappell, Randall Jarrell, William Carolos Williams, Adrienne Rich, Theodore Roethke. And more. And more. They wait, on a special bookshelf, where I can see her sardonic raised eyebrow, smiling, and hoping that I will get to them one day.

And I will. A Saturday morning with black coffee and Charles Bukowski, a Sunday afternoon with bourbon over ice and Alan Shapiro.

I’ll get to them. Really. I promise.

Another Sunday, http://www.cynthiastrauff.com