Friday, April 10, 2009

What Starts Out One Way Ends Up Another

In my blog profile, I state that I am an amateur poet, and that I am: a gross amateur. I don't think in poetry like some folk do, and never (or almost never) have written a poem just because I wanted to write a poem; I usually have to be inspired, and it can be years between inspirations.

Once upon a time, I did consciously decide to write a poem, but it didn't turn out all like I had intended. The background story (I'll try to keep it succinct) is as follows:

I worked in downtown Little Rock, in an area filled with businesses and a variety of eating establishments which catered to the lunch crowd. One of these, quite close to my work place, was called Your Mama's Good Food, run by a married couple. He was the cook; she was the server/front person. They specialized in "home cooking" and their yeast rolls, made by the husband, were, as they say, "to die for," the best I think I have ever eaten. I often would ask for a half-dozen extra rolls to take home with me for supper that night. One day, after consuming a roll, or maybe two, with my lunch, I said to the wife, "These are so good someone should write a poem about them. I think I'll do it."

And so I did.

To keep this story brief, suffice it to say that it took me quite a while to give birth to this particular poem -- more than a year, actually, through many strike outs and re-dos. The end result was not about their yeast rolls at all; the idea "morphed" into something completely different. I will leave it to my readers to decide whether or not it is actual poetry.

The title of the poem, Resurrection Song, was given to it by a lovely, lovely man by the name of Harding Stedler. Mr. Stedler, Professor Emeritus of Shawnee State University (1995), is a member of the Executive Board of the Poets' Roundtable of Arkansas and vice-president of the River Market Poets (information I found on the Internet after Googling his name tonight.) In 1996, he lived in a nearby town, and sponsored a poetry class at the local library for "interested persons." I was privileged to participate in his class for a brief period, but this poem had already been written. When I submitted it to him for his critique, he helped me "clean and polish" it a bit, gave it a title and added it to a few poems he published in the local paper at Easter that year. So -- I am a published poet, be it ever so humble a publication.

I have some trepidation about posting a resurrection poem that is not about the resurrection that most Christians around the world, myself included, will celebrate on this coming Sunday, although I believe that, if one sort of reads between the lines, it does have a spiritual meaning.

I will post my poem tomorrow, Saturday, April 11.


Betsy from Tennessee said...

Wow Pat.... I can't wait to read the poem... I have no skills in writing poetry and never ever even tried. But I am in awe of those who do...

SO---I'll wait to read your poem on Easter Sunday...

Happy Easter and THANKS for sharing.

rhymeswithplague said...

Catching up on my reading (have had a houseguest for the past three days). Looking forward to reading the poem next!

I love learning why something was written....

dot said...

Nice story. I read the poem before I read the story about the poem but both are interesting.