Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Nonnie's Poetry Trip: Part 2

Who would think, if they met me today, in bed with dog, cat and computer, that I am a woman of such passions? There has never been a time in my life when I haven't been deeply in love with something or someone. As a child my fervors were directed toward ballet and Catholic saints. I would read biographies of famous ballerinas, when I could find them, and the lives of cannonized women  with equal intensity. Could I somehow become the first ballerina-saint, I wondered?

With "boys" went my plans for sainthood, but my love of dance surged. And, indeed, I became a dancer of the daily class or classes; sweaty hours in studios; bloody ugly feet; living to perform and choreograph; GROW; variety. But I turned thirty and became a mess. Serious physical injury, a year or so of full-time drinking, and then, thanks to family love bucking me up and the help of a 12 step program (you know which one) sober living.
I believed, briefly, I could now become a less driven woman. I even pretended to be a secretary but was caught out.

After floundering about I became a teacher of children who were challenged by differences in mental, emotional, or physical states of being. The first priority for these lost souls was to help them "experience their environment with pleasure." Ah, yes.  Passion, for these kids, was back in my life. Then my heart got sick and I had to stop.

This blog was to be about my poetry trip, and indeed it will be. Poetry was and is a passion right there beside me, behind me and in front of me, leading me. From the first memories of my Nonnie teaching me nursery rhymes, I've been a fan. "My poets" have known, challenged, comforted, mirrored, and lord knows, amused me. One of the firsts dances I choreographed was inspired by a line from T.S.Eliot. My last group of special education students were able to recite, with sensitivity, and in front of the class (!) Robert Frost's, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening."

Atlantic Ave, early morning
Atlantic Ave, Delray Beach, Florida

Poet David Kirby

Me, blurred by passion

A few weeks ago I went to my second Palm Beach Poetry Festival, which is not the least concerned, by the way, with taking place in Delray Beach, Florida. (I don't know. Is that whole beachy yet utterly urban sprawl Palm Beach?) I had a full schedule of workshops (with scholar, poet, rock and roll historian, prince of a man, David Kirby), craft talks and readings by top-shelf writers who gave and gave and gave, an invaluable manuscript conference with Ginger Murchison (oh, yeah, I want to publish a book) and many, many walks between my hotel, The Colony Hotel and Cabana Club (I love that name) and Old School Square, the festival venue. Walks along Atlantic Avenue were exciting imput-events for me. Caf├ęs, fancy restaurants, boutiques, antiques, great dogs, and old, young, rich, homeless, Jewish, Cuban, European, black, bohemian, Americans. I had an excellent time in Delray. Weather was great and all and…poetry astounds me. During the readings I discovered new voices speaking to me and of course, those who have always been around will not go away. This passion will carry on,  I think, forever.

There have been men along the way. Sex and great love and all that. I'll write about them in another blog or two, I think. No, scratch that idea. Poems, definitely poems, for all that.


Martin heavisides said...

Enjoying the comments on the trip so far. Looking forward to more. (Hope your health's keeping up.)

david coyote said...

How do you do this? Each time I read your blog I discover new mysteries and new magic that must have been lurking in your pen.

Keep it up. I'm enjoying the show.
And I get in free! Where's my popcorn?

Yvette said...

I love this, the passion, no resignation here - not ever, not from you, my wild and fervent poet friend.