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Monday, August 10, 2009

The Blooming of a Sunflower, Part I

A Journey into the Creation of Psalm of the Sunflower by Antoinette Brim, Part I

As she nears the completion of her debut poetry collection, Psalm of the Sunflower, Aquarius Press author Antoinette Brim has agreed to share some of her thoughts about the creative process and her role as a poet in a world that sometimes forgets its poets:

I remember how I first discovered poetry. At about seven, I chanced upon Langston Hughes' Dreams. I don’t recall that I had yet begun to dream dreams, but I understood the power of a dream having just read King’s Dream speech from a volume of the Negro Heritage Library my Nana had given me. I looked out of my bedroom window at the frozen New Jersey landscape. I knew that when I began to dream dreams, I would hold fast. . .

. . .As I prepare for the release of my debut collection of poetry, Psalm of the Sunflower, it is apropos that, I again think about discovery and identity through poetry. All grown-up now, a woman in the South for the better part of thirty years, I have measured myself by what are sometimes very strict and conservative social mores. A failed marriage and the resulting single parenthood was a painful induction into a realm of unreturned phone calls, un-invitations and social anonymity. It was cause for prayer and the cause of poverty. However, my divorce after fifteen years of marriage and three kids, created an opportunity not to recreate myself, but to self-actualize – to, as Walcott would say, “love again the stranger who was your self.” Writing the book showed me again that poetry could tell me the whole, unabridged truth about the world, about me and about me in the world. My poetry taught me to dream dreams. And, as I learned so long ago, "to hold fast."