Tag: Poets

April 21, 2017

I have been editing a nonfiction manuscript that I wrote before the death of my mother. I just recently took it up again after more than a decade. I began with some optimism and ease, expecting quick completion. (I was eager to move on to new ideas for another project.)

However, as I found myself in the midst of unresolved emotions, my efforts slowed down. Difficulties seemed to arise out of nowhere as judgments threatened. I wished I had never begun. I had to remind myself as a student and teacher of yoga, this situation, most likely, was the perfect opportunity for growth.

Deciding not to reside in emotional turmoil, I rededicated myself to be the neutral witness. I set aside my desire to rework the last chapter, returned to the beginning and am happy, for now on page 16, to pursue ongoing resolution.

April 23, 2017

I have been contemplating the concept that objectivity is not neutral as an extension of my recent return to neutral attention. Still, there is more. I have also been remembering things.

After reading poetry (on a university radio station) with a friend and fellow poet, my friend said to me: “Unfortunately, no one will know what a great writer you are until after you are dead.” This happened in the 1980’s. I also remember a barely concealed sneer by the radio interviewer regarding “women poets writing about their cats.”

Why did he ask us to come on his show? Had he not “read” our proposed selections ahead of time? Having written on the death of our family cat as a metaphor for something else, unfortunately, I allowed this experience to have a dampening effect on my writing life.

Now I write, because it is the song I have to offer. And every once in a while, I am reminded how women have not come as far as we sometimes like to think we have.

Gudrun Mouw (c)

Journal Entry The Process of Writing

I would like to be able to celebrate the news that From Ashes Into Light has won two more awards. How can this be done when the world is reeling and in shock?

I realize, after the presidential election, that my book reads like advance warning. There are things to ask ourselves, and From Ashes Into Light brings up some of these issues in stark ways. I am reminded of the Dylan line: “The times they are a changing.” And the change can be frightening.

I am reading Ge’rard De Nerval from 1854. The poem called Golden Lines begins with a quote from Pythagoras, “Astonishing! Everything is Intelligent!” Yes, I agree, we are swimming in consciousness. Still, what we do with that consciousness/intelligence makes all the difference.

The Romantic Poets responded to difficult times by turning to nature. This was an “Attack on the Old System,” according to Robert Bly in his News of the Universe poems of twofold consciousness.

How will poets respond to our current era? In many different ways, surely, unless an overwhelming movement develops in the genre.

               Morning Cold

Instead of pushing against cold,

muscles contract until

they become aware of themselves

after shock.

Many months of drought, at last, rain;

rain turned to tears.

I wear yellow to remember the sun,

to ward off complacency.

(C) Gudrun Mouw

November, 2016

A Poem From Ashes Into Light