Friday, January 3, 2014

A NEVEREVENDING BEGINNING by Irene Latham

In the beginning, I wrote love poems.

For my mother.

I was a wee child, just learning how to pencil letters that were legible. My father often sat me on his lap and shared with me books by Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein. Their poems were funny and original and full of rhythm and wordplay.

My poems were serious and only occasionally original and full of attempts at rhythm and wordplay. But it didn't matter because I wasn't trying to be Dr. Seuss or Shel Silverstein.

I was learning to be ME.

I'm still learning to be me. I still feel like a beginner. I find I have to learn the same lessons over and over again: beginnings are not the place for backstory, start in medias res, hook readers with a sharp first line.

My next three books for children are poetry. The first, DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST: And Other Poems from the Water Hole will be released this fall. I'm not sure if this is a return to my beginnings, or proof that I am still in the midst of my own birth as a writer.

Perhaps both.

Wishing all of you brilliant beginnings in 2014!


10 comments:

  1. This is lovely, Irene! Staying rooted in those beginnings can make for future wonderful surprises. Looking forward to DEAR WANDERING WILDEBEEST.

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    1. Thank you Gbemi! my OLW for 2014 is "mystery" so bring on the surprises! Hope you and your daughter are still enjoying poetry together. xo

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  2. I'd be willing to bet all us writers grew up loving words. Thanks for this thoughtful post Irene.

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    1. Thank you Darlene! How excited are you for that book cover?! Congratulations. xo

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  3. Can't wait to read your new book! And looking forward to finding a water hole with you nearby.

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  4. The work of a lifetime, learning to be ME. Glad your on the path, and looking forward to the poems!

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  5. Irene, what a beautiful post. It reminds me why I love writing. So excited to read your poetry!
    Happy 2014-
    Debby

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  6. I feel like I'm still learning to be me, too!

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  7. 'Learning to be me' is a lifetime journey. Approaching the journey with a beginner's mind leaves us all open to possiblity. Your post is pure poetry!

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  8. So excited about your poetry books, Irene. What a gift those will be. Can't wait to read them.

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