The story behind the poem: Salt and Vinegar by Steve Denehan

The poems Steve submitted were a little shorter than what we were looking for and although it was love at first read, we didn’t add them to our shortlist right away. However, we kept coming back to them and then realized that we have unconsciously already made our decision. The number of lines didn’t matter if we found the poem to be a great fit for Moment Poetry.

Our email conversations moved beyond poetry to cover quickly a wide range of topics but mostly the joys (and challenges) of being a parent. By the time the draft visual of his poem was ready it felt like writing to an old friend – an unexpected bonus besides discovering a great poem for Moment Poetry.

When asked to share a few words about ‘Salt and Vinegar’, he said: “I think, or hope, that it speaks for itself, more or less. I was just trying to capture those feelings of childhood, the boundless optimism, feeling absolutely invincible and ready to make a good sized dent in the world. I miss how earnest and sincere we were then. I was really lucky to have an amazing childhood and have lots of small little memories. I can still smell the vinegar and feel the heat in my hands.”

Steve lives in Kildare, Ireland, near a bog and a canal. And it is obvious that his daughter Robin is enjoying an amazing and adventurous childhood herself. To me, Steve seems to be one of those rare poets who find perfect poetic moments in everyday life and are able to capture authentically, without any unnecessary embellishments.

Reading his poems makes you feel he lives poetry. And if you dare to think about it a little more you realize that if we keep our eyes and minds open, we possess the same opportunity.

Photos from top to bottom:
Photo credit: Moment Poetry
Painting by Steve Denehan featured on the back of the poem card

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