Poetry Sundays (5)

A few weeks ago, I featured poet Gary J. Whitehead. Being the student of Whitehead has definitely shaped my own writing.

Today, I am sharing with you a poem I wrote my senior year in high school when Whitehead went on a writer’s residency to a secluded cabin in Oregon for six months.

This poem happened to win 2nd place at my university’s annual poetry contest, the Prentiss Cheney Hoyt Poetry Contest.

I have since changed the title, but the poem is the same:

In Action

I think of the man in the woods,
his words of fat bees and the under-bellies
of planes. I imagine him in his hammock, notebook
in lap, the thick smell of sap around him.
He forms in my head, that familiar face
like the morning light. I come down the stairs
of his cabin with two tall glasses of lemonade.
I cross the field to where he lies. His beard
is short, his neck browned beneath the sun,
yet he looks peaceful, wise.
I remind him of buttered bagels
and the taste right of New Jersey.
He says, “I’ve forgotten those who’ve forgotten me.”
I speak of shells with pink insides.
He teaches me how to play chess.
I remind him of where he came from
and he reminds me of where I am going.

*What inspires you to write?*

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Poetry Sundays (5)

  1. Lovely poem! Like the poetry Sunday idea – will look forward to it each week.

  2. Love the line, “I’ve forgotten those who’ve forgotten me.” Very nice, Genna!

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  4. literaryescape

    As someone else said, I also loved the line ” I’ve forgotten those who’ve forgotten me” and also how it ends “I remind him of where he came from
    and he reminds me of where I am going. ” Great imagery. Very well-written. Thanks for sharing. I’m looking forward to your future posts!

    – Michelle

    • Genna Sarnak

      Hi Michelle! Thanks for your interest, encouragement, and kind words! You brought a fat grin to my face! Hope to see you back soon! 🙂

  5. Hira Hasnain

    Dear Genna,

    I think Poetry Sunday is a wonderful idea. I am just sad that for me, it was an extremely busy Sunday and I didn’t get to read it sooner.
    My favorite part was:

    He says, “I’ve forgotten those who’ve forgotten me.”
    I speak of shells with pink insides.
    He teaches me how to play chess.
    I remind him of where he came from
    and he reminds me of where I am going.

    But, the poem is beautiful in its entirety. I love it, and would love to read more of your work! 🙂 Usually, my inspiration comes from whatever is taking place around me – but especially the people I deeply care about. Thank you for sharing this with us…and I’m looking forward to next Sunday, already! 🙂

    • Genna Sarnak

      Hi Hira! Thanks so much for your support and interest in Poetry Sundays!

      I’m so glad that you enjoyed my poem and I will be featuring more of my work from time to time. But there will also be some other poets and poems featured, both unknown and well-known. If you have any suggestions of what kinds of poetry you’d like to read, I am very open to suggestions!

      I too often draw my inspiration from my loved ones.

      And don’t be sad, the poems are all archived and can always be accessed by going to “older posts” or by searching! 🙂

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