I had brunch last week with my good friend Grace Lin. Grace has been on my case a lot lately. She keeps telling me that I’ve got to start sending my poetry manuscripts out soon—before I become a grandmother and a part-time daycare provider for my first grandchild. Grace is persistent. She even sent one of my poetry collections to an editor herself a while ago! (More on that story in the future.)
Grace and I had a long talk on the telephone yesterday. We exchanged a lot of thoughts about my poetry manuscripts—which got my creative juices flowing. Our discussion reminded me of advice that both Grace and Janet Wong had given me about my collection of animal mask poems a couple of years. I had forgotten about their advice because I was so revved up after our get-together that I began work on a brand new collection of poems titled Docile Fossil.
So…yesterday, I got to work revamping my collection of animal mask poems. I hope to send that out to a publisher in the next few weeks. Then it will be back to work on my Docile Fossil collection, which I set aside for far too long.
L to R: Me, Janet, & Grace
Note to Grace and Janet: I appreciate all of the help and advice and encouragement that you have given me these past few years.
On Tuesday, we had a retirement party for Valerie “Val” Peterson. Val had been the music teacher at the elementary school where I taught for nearly twenty-five years. My daughter had her as a teacher from kindergarten through the fifth grade. Val was exceptional! I know she will be missed by the staff at Bell School.
My contribution to the celebration of Val’s retirement was a poem I wrote for her. My Poem for Val is a cento.
(Cento: From the Latin word for "patchwork," the cento is a poetic form made up of lines from poems by other poets. Though poets often borrow lines from other writers and mix them in with their own, a true cento is composed entirely of lines from other sources.)
A Poem for Valerie
by Elaine Magliaro
There is music in me,
Music of melting sky,
The voice of magic melody
And a stretch of song
Rippling like piano keys
With a medley of horns, bassoons, piccolos
All softly playing.
I get way down in the music.
My heart hears every note.
Each note rings
The beat gets in my blood.
The music fuels my feet.
I dance to the beat…
Dance out the door.
I have a secret power, and
I can fly to where the sky begins.
In sweet music is such art.
Make music with your life.
The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Carol’s Corner this week.