Thursday, March 29, 2012

Since I've taken over as Poet Laureate, I have been so busy doing things for my position than actually writing my thoughts into poetry. I have been contacting local schools about coming into classrooms for National Poetry Month. I had my very first Evening Sun article to submit, which will me a monthly column. I had a list of questions to answer for Central PA Magazine, in which I will be featured in their April edition. A photo shoot at their Harrisburg office for the article was probably the LEAST favorite of my duties, so far. :)  I HATE getting my photo taken. On top of that I have been sick with some horrible flu for the past 5 days. But, I could no longer be stagnant, so I decided to finish a poem I had started and post it on here as my latest blog post.

As I stated in my column this month, I get inspired at the dumbest, most mundane things. This one was triggered by a word on a tag at Target, "Aquamarine". I think "aqua" is one of my favorite words. I love the "Q" sound and it brings to mind this tropical, tranquil paradise. An escape, if you will, from life in general. 

Allison Cline Saia

With one small step, I feel the water rush
into my eyes and fill my vision with kaleidoscopic droplets
that magnify and cloud all that is in front of me.

Deeper into the watery void beneath me
I breathe out of my nose and watch the bubbles around me
on their rise to the surface in a swift flight of frenzy.

Pictures pass in my mind of all that was before
Agony, suffering, emptiness, loneliness
Yet in the solitude of a sea foam grave, hope ascends.

With a renewed yearning to escape the blackness
And see the sun that I so often hide away from in fear of burning
I reach the surface and inhale the first breath of my rebirth

This poem's title was inspired by the color, the images that come to mind when I see the word "Aquamarine". But, the real inspiration for this selection is trying to find an escape. 

I suffer from depression. I have for quite a number of years. A lot of my poems come from that dark spot, that only people who have depression, can relate to. Sometimes I want an escape, both literally and figuratively. Water is so incredibly calming to me. When I feel that need to flee, I tend to gravitate to places with water or even just the sounds of water. I have a propensity for fountains. I have quite a few in and around my house. It brings me a sort of inner peace. In fact, a lot of my best thinking happens in the shower!! :)

While, I tried to use some figurative language to describe that dark place I sometimes find myself falling into, I also tried to throw in some positive energy and words. I find light and serenity even at my most tumultuous times. And that is the beauty of poetry. It can help you get out your innermost feelings, good and bad. It can help you make sense out of the seemingly senseless. Poetry, in itself, can be an escape. 

The next time you are feeling like life is too stressful, take a few minutes and write down your thoughts and your feelings. Send it to me, so I can post it on my blog and you can share your talent with others. 

Until next time.... :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular."   Aristotle

I return to this quote by Aristotle quite often when I am writing poetry. I believe it describes in very succinct detail exactly why poetry is so powerful. When you read someone's account of a situation, it relies heavily on facts and details. But, when you read a poem, the emotion comes through. For example, here is a poem written during the Holocaust.

Frozen Jews
Avrom Sutzkever
July 10, 1944

Have you seen, in fields of snow, frozen Jews, row on row? Blue marble forms lying, not breathing, not dying.

Somewhere a flicker of a frozen soul - glint of fish in an icy swell. All brood. Speech and silence are one. Night snow encases the sun.

A smile glows immobile from a rose lip's chill. Baby and mother, side by side. Odd that her nipple's dried.

Fist, fixed in ice, of a naked old man: the power's undone in his hand. I've sampled death in all guises. Nothing surprises.

Yet a frost in July in this heat - a crazy assault in the street. I and blue carrion, face to face. Frozen Jews in a snowy space.

Marble shrouds my skin. Words ebb. Light grows thin. I'm frozen, I'm rooted in place like the naked old man enfeebled by ice.

When you read this poem, you are transported to that specific place and time. You can imagine the cold, the loneliness, the desperation felt by the Jews interned at these awful death houses. It touches you on a basic level of human emotion with its imagery. It is touching on everyone's basic humanity.

That is why I love poetry so much. I am able to express myself in ways that simple stories cannot do. I can use images and expressive language. I am hoping that there are many of you that feel the same way. Maybe you've been secretly writing poetry for yourself. I want to hear from all of you. I want to spread my love of poetry to the masses. I am so passionate about literature, poetry, and the English language. So, I am calling to all of you to join me in this adventure of mine.

I have been writing poetry since I can remember. I knew, in my heart, since I was a child that I was a writer. I tried to deny it, tried to go in other directions in college, but the draw was just too great. I needed to write. I needed to express myself and hope that others found something good in my writing as well. I am so honored to have been chosen as Hanover, Pennsylvania's fifth Poet Laureate. I am very excited to get out and about in the community and try to reach those old and young and inspire them to draw out their inner poet.

Please feel free to e-mail me any of your work at I would love to read it and critique it. I will be fair and honest, but never harsh.  I look forward to hearing from you.