Writing Poetrya I’ve been reading William Wordsworth. I chose him for our coffee date last Saturday because I’d just read Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, 1903. The book is full of Wordsworth and Emerson and all kinds of delicious excerpts from writers. I’d chosen to read Rebecca because I’d just finished Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts and needed and antidote.

a          I’ve been reading William Wordsworth.  I chose him for our coffee date last Saturday because I’d just read Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, 1903.  The book is full of Wordsworth and Emerson and all kinds of delicious excerpts from writers.  I’d chosen to read Rebecca because I’d just finished Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts and needed and antidote.

            I’ve grown to love poetry in the last 25 years, though I can’t write it, and I’m too intimidated to take a class.  If I tried to write “I Wander Lonely as a Cloud,” it would come out “I wander lonely as a clod,” as in the Mad magazine version. 

            Actually, one of my desperate iterations of the Laura Bridgman biography was in free verse from multiple points of view.  Even my husband didn’t vomit or, worse, laugh till he hooted and teared up and couldn’t get a breath.  And I sent it off to Clarion in that form, got a letter in three weeks, wondering if I’d write it in prose.  Not a ringing endorsement of my poetic talent, but I think respectable enough for them to see the story and my potential for being its author.  I rewrote it and sold it in four months. So maybe I should try to summon the courage to face the humiliation and scorn of my peers.

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About Sally Hobart Alexander

Blinded at the age of twenty-six, I left California and elementary school teaching for life in Pittsburgh, Pa. There, I met my husband, got a Masters' degree in social work, had two kids, now 35 and 32, and became a writer. Surprisingly, the writing career led me full-circle to teaching, and I teach in Chatham University's M.F.A. program and lead two writing critique groups. Always, since the age of 26, I have traveled, not in the stereotypic darkness attributed to blindness, but a mist. My blog then, "traveling through the mist" will deal with issues in my culturally different life as a blind writer, teacher, speaker, and human being.
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