I have been reading and writing poetry since childhood. I've published poems in small literary journals and anthologies for more than thirty years. And I can't remember a time when poetry wasn't a part of my life. The only book I owned as a little girl was, A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. At ten, I could recite every poem from memory.
Poetry has helped me find meaning in the world--helped me to make sense of what often felt senseless. It slows me down and makes me think. May Sarton believed that the only way we can grow up is by thinking. If that's the case, then poetry helped me to grow up. It carried me through the grief of a dead mother early in both our lives, and the devastating deaths of three brothers. It helped me find words to describe my love for my children and grandchildren. Words that gave me hope. In many ways, poetry saved me.
If I were trapped on a desert island with only one book, I would want that book to be an anthology of the world's best poems.
For now, trapped nowhere except in my writing room, I want to take a moment to rejoice, to welcome my little poet child into the world. May she find a home here. May she slow readers down and make them think. May she bring some insights, solace, redemption and joy to those who read her.