Monday, July 26, 2010
A Moment of Ahh
I am reading a poem written by Michael D. Robins “Flanked by Postcards, Pieces of the Wall” published in his book The Next Settlement. This book of poetry was awarded 2006 Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry Series and can be purchased on Amazon. I bought three copies, two as gifts and one for myself.
I was lucky to have my copy signed by the author because I am the author’s friend and was his wife’s Matron of Honor in their wedding. I am not sure why I mention this but I think I do because I want to make it clear that my link is through friendship and not academia. I could only wish that someday I could speak about poetry, play scrabble with Michael successfully, and have the type of education of my friend. He, to me is what I aspire to be; however, without the seventy grand it takes to get there, I have to learn in a slow, less guided and structured way. I have to learn on my own, Educating Kristen not Rita funny I even thought that.
Don’t get me wrong I would find a way to do it but my priority was forced in a different direction. My money is well spent on keeping up my independence. I can learn but I can not get out of bed on my own. I can type on the computer but I can not dress on my own. I can read and write what I like but I can not shower or use the bathroom on my own. I have muscular dystrophy and over the past fifteen years my abilities went from a hundred percent independent to about eighty percent dependent. I give myself the twenty percent because I am not dead and can still do a lot of things on my own. However, I am classified as totally and completely disabled and require a lot of funds for equipment, repairs, personal attendants, and various other costly things to get as normal of a life as someone with a functioning body.
Since I was not born wealthy, have not yet acquired tremendous wealth and have limited resources at the moment, my education consists of trying to find the right books, about fifty dollars in fines at the public library per year and focus. I am still trying to get the focus and consistency required to get on with it. I decided to take a free class through Open University, What is Poetry? In my second lesson the Poet Jackie Kay says, “The most important thing I tell them to do is to read contemporary poets in particular but just to read, read, read and read.” Okay so I am doing that part.
Why have I bothered to tell you all this because I wanted to. I hope it creates enough of a backdrop. So here it is, I am new to poetry but I just had a moment with this poem. I can only describe that as a flicker of light. I had an ahh but not an ah ha moment if you will. I am not ready for the ah ha, I have to understand it to claim that and yet I am on my third pass through and I got the ahh. That is something, isn’t it? I think it is but more importantly it makes me what to dig deeper, spelunk further and forage through until I reach the pot of gold I call the ah ha.
I did bother the author, my friend for a little clarification on one small verse but he is a busy man so I am not sure when he will get back to me. It doesn’t matter much I am thrilled with my ahh.