I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil. I wanted to be able to write in rhyme like the poems I read as a child, the kind that were taught to children in the 1950s. Rhyme captivated me and though it’s out of style today I still write it and sometimes insert a rhyming couplet in prose poetry just because.
Why poetry? Poetry is the language of the soul, of every glittering star, of every pebble buried in the mud, the shadow you can’t quite see. Poetry is a spur in the side, a knife in the heart, a memory in the mouth.
What role does poetry play in your life?
Poetry IS my life, at least for now, and has been for several years. It’s all that’s left to me now.
I often say I am made of words. My pinned tweet on Twitter is a photo of my journal, open, a pen and the caption “I’m writing my autobiography one poem at a time.” Naturally not every piece I write is actual autobiography – I write about anything and everything and I’ve been writing short stories, poems, essays, song lyrics, since I could hold a pencil. I do tend to inject my own world view/values/experience in much of my work, which encompasses my life as a woman: adoptee, musician, artist, writer, wife (twice), mother (once – my son is deceased), divorcee (twice).
Can you mention some of your favorite books or authors?
Some of my favorite poets among many are Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot, Christina Rossetti, Wallace Stevens, Andrew Marvell, Adrienne Rich, Charles Bukowski, Elizabeth Bishop, E.E. Cummings, Billy Collins, Maya Angelou, Rainer Maria Rilke, Gregory Corso, W. H. Auden, Seamus Heaney and D. H. Lawrence, who overlaps into the fiction category as well.
Favorite fictional authors include Alice Hoffman, John Irving, Hilary Mantel, Edward Rutherfurd, James Michener, Jane Austen, Arona McHugh, Philip Pullman, L.M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott and all of the Brontës.
Non-fiction favorites include James Baldwin, Barbara Tuchman, E.B. White, Molly Ivins, Diane Ackerman, David McCullough, John Hersey, Susan Sontag, James Thurber and in the catch-all category Aldous Huxley and George Orwell.
I’m sure I’ve left out many in all categories but this is a good mix.
Do you have any personal poetry moments you’d like to share?
I’ll close with this, because in the end, love is all.
Man and woman are like the earth, that brings forth flowers
in summer, and love, but underneath is rock.
Older than flowers, older than ferns, older than foraminiferae,
older than plasm altogether is the soul underneath.
And when, throughout all the wild chaos of love
slowly a gem forms, in the ancient, once-more-molten rocks
of two human hearts, two ancient rocks,
a man’s heart and a woman’s,
that is the crystal of peace, the slow hard jewel of trust,
the sapphire of fidelity.
The gem of mutual peace emerging from the wild chaos of love.
How to get in touch with RC: follow her Twitter account @RCdeWinter