In a few posts I have described the things I have found in my attic. Most times my finds bring me back to a time and place I had forgotten about. I love antiques. I started collecting antiques at an early age. My dad loved to go to antique shops; he’d take me with him on his scavenger hunts for “treasures of the past” as he coined them.
During a visit with my daughter we finally had the opportunity to go an antique store housed in an old barn. What a place. You really need a day to see all they have to offer. As I was browsing at all the stuff I came across a 1940’s Royal typewriter. It was just like the one my dad had at home. It was stolen right after he passed away. I was heart-broken because my dad so loved his Royal machine as my father called it. I actually learned to type on that machine. I couldn’t believe I was looking at the same model. It came with its original case.
I asked the store owner if I could test it. He warned me he was selling as is. I dug deep in my purse and found a shopping receipt. I placed it on the typewriter and typed “Dad”. It worked! The ink was RED. I almost cried. I was so excited.
I bought it right away and could not wait to get back home to put it on my antique desk. I cleaned the machine until I managed to get a shine. I cleaned each key meticulously and I put new ribbon in. I knew I would need to get used to the keys and started practicing. I typed “asdfg” with my left hand and then “hjkl;” with my right hand to exercise my fingers. I had a flashback to my high school typing teacher. She was a drill master. She listened as we typed to make sure we were in unison like a band playing. The keys are harder to manipulate but the sound they make is like music to me to my ears. It took me a few days to get into the rhythm. After all it had been at least thirty years since I had used a manual typewriter. Word processors and computers was all I used.
I love my Royal machine. I will use it to write some posts. I write letters to my grandson on it. Most of the letters let him know about family and things I want him to know about me and his great grandparents.
I love the bell when it is time to hit return and start a new paragraph. Every time I hear it I am reminded that writing and poetry is about life. This machine makes me feel like a royal. I hope to write many letters to my grandson on it. I told him the machine will be his one day.
We could not believe
was on the big screen
as it turns out, so was
Some of us were
Lovers and Others StrangersThe Wild Child
never knew about the dangers
of having no
Bed and Board
There was little
we could afford
The Boys in the Band
A First Love
was hard to understand
who knew that
Ryan’s Daughter was
A Virgin and a Gypsy
A Catch 22The People Next DoorThe Aristocratsin town
some begged a smile
and all of them frowned
Joe, their neighbor, was
The Man Called Horse
He was also
The American Soldier
who spoke up that day
and yelled without remorse
Start the Revolution Without Me
And deep in the imagination
Beneath the Planet of the Apes
there was no escaping
The Owl and The Pussycat
these movies all happened
the year of my graduation
when nothing was left to the imagination
yet we all wondered how the heck
Cotton Comes to Harlem116th Street to be exact
Good Old Ben Franklin
to be exact
And as the song says
On a Clear day You Can See Forever
the End of the Road
or the light in the tunnel
For the Great White Hope
That is a fact!
A poem is defined as expressive language. It is an art form that allows for free verse. Poems are musical and rhythmic and uses sounds and imagery to convey meaning. Poems use metaphors and similes and they can create a very intimate conversation between the poet and the reader.
Poetry is life and a poet can be found anywhere. It is so delightful when poets are appreciated and celebrated. Poets interpret life for us on every level. In my earlier post I highlighted Michael Hoppe and his musical repertoire inspired by some of the best poets. I look for this inspiration everywhere I go and it does not fail; I manage to connect to that magical world each time. This place is such a place.
I have continued to ponder about what inspires me and what inspires my writing. Sometimes what inspires me is a simple line in a poem or narrative. Sometimes it’s the title of a poem. Some poems stay with us forever. You may have read them just at the most proper moment in your life. Maybe a teacher read it in a way you would never forget it. The poem that follows is a poem inspired by inspirational titles. (At least to me they were inspirational.) There are hundreds of others I can cite. The titles have been italicized. You may recognize some of the poets. Do not forget I love your comments. Please let me know what inspires you to write.
April is National Poetry Month. I will quote from the poets I love and whose verses have guided me through my own journey as a poet. Read a poem to someone you love.
“Does a firm persuasion that a thing is so, make it so? He replied, ‘All poets believe that it does. And in ages of imagination, this firm persuasion removed mountains; But many are not capable of a firm persuasion of anything.” – From the Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake
A poem’s first line just like a song’s or a great book’s can hook you for life. These are in my opinion the best ten lines from some of my favorite poems and I have to admit I have many. Poemattic will provide the titles and authors in the next post.
What is the best first line in a poem that you have read?
Do you know the titles of the poems these first lines are from?
Hold fast to dreams
The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
Oh mother, mother, where is happiness?
I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
If I could catch the green lantern of the firefly I could see to write you a letter. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
I woke up real early to write about death, but Do not go gentle into that good night
Poetry ignites me;
It allows me to see things clearly;
To touch things with my eyes,
To be able to feel with my nose,
To dance on my hands,
while in the meantime time, I keep drumming, drumming, drumming away for life to be lived.
Poetry to me is the opportunity to say what my heart was afraid to say out loud.
It’s an opportunity to connect to myself and find my soul.
It’s an opportunity to reach Nirvana and bring someone with me.
It’s the sweet feeling that comes within a split second to help you realize you have written
A unique verse to soothe your soul and maybe someone else’s
When I recite a favorite line of mine
And I sigh, take a deep breath, and nod my head in approval
I realize how poetry is life itself.
It is my life
Poetry dares to ask myself about me
when I need to know me all over again.
– Melba Christie
What is poetry to you? I would love to hear from you.
We have not had much of a winter season so I started to do my spring cleaning to take advantage of the mild weather. I vowed to get rid all I could that was stored in our attic. We collected quite a bit over the thirteen years we’ve lived here. As usual I begin with great fervor then manage to sit comfortably on a big cushion and before I know it I am reading my old poems. I pay particular attention to the rewrites and the notes I had written in the margins to myself. I look at the dates and relive the moment that may have inspired the poem. Then I start writing again on related or similar themes. Sometimes I simply follow through with some of the edits I had suggested. I never get around to throwing out any of the stuff I had planned to discard.
I suppose many writers do the same thing. But I think poets become reengaged in the process. I started reflecting on how poems evolve and why the ones that end up in an attic or any place for that matter somehow come back to inspire new thoughts. I feel like I have found new treasures. Although sometimes I find one poem I really hated from the beginning and just tear it to shreds.
I will share some of the poems I rediscovered and I hope that you will send me your comments. I hope that you go back into your attic and look for those poems you have written in the past or the new ones that were reborn.