Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Spammer and a Poet Are Two Different Things

I've been inundated by spam on my Twitter account as of late.  These people follow me and two seconds later tweet me demanding I look at their blog or direct message me repeatedly with the blog links to their wonderful poetry they know I will love.  I think to myself:  Really?  How do you know I will "love" your poetry?  You don't know the slightest thing about me if you haven't even said hello.

I'm a poet, and yes, I want people to read my poetry, but I don't use Twitter as a means to shove my writing down people's throats and clog their stream of otherwise meaningful and productive conversations.  Twitter, and other social networks for that matter, are about building a "network," communicating, and making connections with others who share your passions.

I read lots of things from my Twitter stream from people who I've connected with, who offer me valuable or positive information, and who I've taken a genuine interest in.  Make friends then share poetry, and not always just your own.

Sorry for the rant today.  I will end by sharing a few lines from Wendell Berry's "How to be a Poet:"

make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.

Monday, March 28, 2011

First Loves in Poetry

I just read an article by Billy Collins about his "first love" of poems on the Poetry Society of America's website.  Billy Collins writes that John Donne's "The Flea" was the poem to ignite his love affair with poetry, to stimulate "...the first symptom of what was to develop into a chronic love sickness for poetry."

For me, the first poem to "turn me green" as Collins would say was Sylvia Plath's "Daddy."  At that time in my life, the suffocating sense of the poem was something I could easily relate to.  I had to read the poem for a college class and upon first read, kept going back and rereading the previous stanza.  I read it repeatedly that night and like Billy Collins, still have that very book on my bookshelf complete with my lines and squiggles to highlight my favorite lines along with notes about how the poem made me feel.  I chose this poem to recite for the class at the end of the semester.  From then on, I was hooked.  From then on, I looked to any poem that fell into my hands as a treasure to help me to understand myself, process my feelings, and interpret the world.

With what did you begin your love affair?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wine, Strawberry Cake, Dancing, and Friendship

I hope everyone is having a great week. :)

Lunch observations:

1.  Diseno Malbec is a fabulous wine.  It pairs well with everything, especially strawberry cake with cream cheese icing.

2.  Everyone dances in their own way.  No one can say they don't like to dance because dancing takes on so many forms.  Some people dance with their feet, some people with their laughter, some with their hearts, and some with their children.  I could go on...  For me, if there is music, there is dancing - even if it just my smile doing all the hard work. ;)

3.  The best kinds of friends are those you can spend an hour with but feel as if you've known a whole lifetime.  You may only see them every couple of months, but it never takes long to catch up and you never run out of things to talk about.

Smile,  Andee

Monday, March 14, 2011

Is it Half Full or Half Empty?

Lunch observations for today:

1.  Chicken noodle soup is normally consumed when your stomach needs soothing or your cold needs tending to.  Today, I've found it is just good for the soul, kind of like a big bowl of ice cream at the end of a bad day.

2.  It is during times of adversity that your friends will really shine through.  Take note of them.  Appreciate them.  Be there with a bowl of chicken noodle soup the next time they need it.  And you.  The world has a funny way of putting things into perspective when we need it most.

3.  There are those who dwell too much on whether their glass is half full or half empty.  We should be grateful even if there is one tiny little drop in it.  At least I am. :)

Smile and take time to appreciate life, Andrea

P.S.  I've found a new poem to share with you:  "The Word that is a Prayer" by Ellery Akers.  A friend shared this with me today, and I couldn't say enough about the timing.  I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Eyes Hurt: Too Much Reading

Can one ever be reading too many books at any one time?  I think I've reached my limit tonight.  And I still have some reading to do for my real estate classes.  (sigh)  So much for the glass of red wine, the long bubble bath, and Sade in the background...I will just have to dream about that relaxing moment tonight.

I spent a lot of time this weekend doing research on regional literary journals/magazines (with great success) and journals for those of us who are finally facing their fears and committing to submitting (with not a lot of luck - aka work in progress.)

For those writers in Texas and perhaps bordering the New Mexico region:

American Literary Review
Gulf Coast
Southwest Review - I currently subscribe to this one and love it
The Texas Review Press 
Rio Grande Review
Front Porch
Iron Horse Review
Houston Literary Review
Puerto del Sol

I will work on the 2nd part of my research and post a list in the future.  If you know of a journal I should add to the current list or add to my future list, I would love your suggestion.

For now, happy reading, Andrea