This is a recording I made of poems about admiration, love and loss, from a variety of poems and poets: To be of Use by Marge Piercy, A Psalm of Life, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, A Dirge Without Music by Edna St. Vincent Millay, Perfection Wasted by John Updike, and an excerpt from Four Poems in One by Anne Porter.
I have completed my First-10 speeches for Toastmasters, and am now working on my first “advanced manual,” Interpretive Reading.
I performed this collection of poems at a new Toastmasters group yesterday. The feedback was mixed, kind compliments, and appreciation of how I compiled the cycle, with questions from other people about the point or purpose of poetry and such a “dark” theme: Remembrance, death and loss.
Jay came with me to the meeting, and returned to the questions when we got home.
My first response was to think, Maybe I’m just morbid.
But that didn’t fit my intent or my emotional state. I dug deeper while he tried to help.
“Is it to share at a funeral or memorial service like [name] asked? What’s the application?”
“Mourning doesn’t end when the service does,” I finally said, coming to my understanding as I spoke it.
“I repeat the poems because it is a way of remembering. The people who hear only death and gloom hear what they have ears for, and that’s okay, that’s not up to me, it’s where they’re at. But there is ever-so-much more and better going on than gloom.
“There is grief, because I still grieve. That doesn’t go away for me or anybody. And it’s comforting, somehow, to go back to what you might expect at a service. It still honors them, and comforts me.”