Versions of the Self

To celebrate International Women’s Day, I’d like to share this amazing book by Christy Birmingham with you. I highly recommend it to men and women, to people who love to read poetry and to people who have never read poetry. To everyone who has ever been filled with doubts or regrets, love and joy.

The poems found in Versions of the Self resonated with me when I read them, and they’re still resonating. There are so many feelings that can be found here, so many relationships, so many selves.

I loved the poems that celebrated freedom and could at times feel my soul soaring along with the words. Then different poems made me stop and think while bringing me back to Earth.

The poem, “Within a Few Feet,” shows the regrets that hold us back and keep us earthbound, all while freedom is only a few feet away in the form of seagulls tempting the author to fly.

Some poems show the gradual process of healing before being able to move on, then we come to, “Made to Write,” where the writer discovers her purpose and “I Stand Here,” showing her growing confidence with this last stanza: “I stand alive,/Healthy and complete, as/My branches extend into fresh air around me.”

We also see the joy of new love and the fear of that love diminishing or disappearing. Questions and disappointments surface, but then there’s always that chance for freedom and soaring again. “You, Colors, and Realization” shows this perfectly after stating “You were once a masterpiece”:

“Today, your colors fall to a wooden floor,/While I run a paintbrush under the kitchen tap/To clean the bristles and/Paint a new day,/Made of colors that I alone choose.”

Anyone who has ever had doubts while in a relationship, and I’m guessing that’s everyone, will find themselves here. Times of insecurity and despair combine with a blooming confidence and an ecstasy for life, giving the reader an overall feeling of positive energy and tingling inspiration.

We see the friendships we form with different people, how we push each other, help each other, inspire each other, and push each other away.

The theme of freedom floats through the pages, and it’s not always meant as freedom from a particular relationship. There’s a stronger sense of freedom from fear, freedom from anything holding you back from what you’re meant to do.

We see this in “Flight Path” with these lines: “You are more than your drenched feathers…You are meant to fly, I know you can, and/It is the moment when you turn can into will/That I will savor the most.”

With all of these poems and inspiring words, we see the bravery it takes to step forward into each day and the exhilaration that’s felt when we leave our fear behind. Everyone who reads this collection will see different versions of herself or himself, the effects we have on each other, and all the energy that can be felt when we find a way to be true to ourselves.

Happy International Women’s Day – and thank you to Christy for your inspirational poems!

How will you be celebrating International Women’s Day?

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Pumpkin Potential

My Wednesday posting day just happened to fall on the day before Halloween. So to continue with this theme and in case you missed it the first time around, here’s a Halloween poem. Yes, I’m obsessed and I really don’t want to have to change out of this witch costume. Happy Halloween!

Halloween pumpkins

pumpkins glow as sundrops
pumpkinswaiting for a face
to be placed
forever upon their skin
will it be a crooked grin
or howling mouth
with eyes wide open
to look at the world
with pointed teeth bared
or a permanent smile
which will glow more
which will show more
of the candle within

Halloween pumpkins

jack-o-lantern

Great Blogs

I just wanted to point out some newer blogs I’ve been enjoying lately. Please give them a visit – they’re all great ones!

trumpeting statue

Suffragette Kitty – Louisa May Alcott has returned as a cat and is continuing her fight for women’s rights. Entertaining and informational posts on historical and present day women of note, Henry David Thoreau, and clean water for everyone. Another great thing about this blog is that I know the person behind the cat in real life! She was my editor at the first newspaper I worked at and is a great person and friend.

Licht Years – Breathtaking photography of the New England area with inspirational quotes and descriptions. I am in awe of Susan’s photos and the feelings that come across in them.

Writing Pieces of Me – Thoughts on writing and life during novel writing and revising. Arlene’s fun personality comes through in her posts and you’ll want to cheer her on as she finishes her novel.

Braith an’ Lithe – Life in the northwest highlands of Scotland. Funny and entertaining posts, especially when talking about things like learning new dance moves while sheep watch through the window.

Christina Lawrence – Book reviews, inspirational quotes, and observances from Great Britain.

Helenvalentina – Beautiful poetry expressing the elements of fire, water, air, and earth.

What do you look for in a blog? What makes it great?

Enjoy!

playing statue

Secret Garden

a secret garden hidden
buds hold tight within themselves
through winter days and nights
explodes with sudden laughter
in puffs of white delight
and with a lingering chuckle
petaled memories fly
free of clinging branches
into the brightening sky

“And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin

“Earth laughs in flowers.” Ralph Waldo Emerson