Father, Fish, Poetry

Tonight, I spent some time with my parents, and after cooking a lovely mesquite-grilled Copper River salmon on the barbecue, I got to read several of my poems to my retired English professor father.

He is particularly proud, and thinks I’ll make a name for myself. I’m flattered by his impression of my poetry, and as a daughter, just happy he thinks so. It’s certainly not why I write. If I publish, like I desire to eventually, that would be a natural outcome, but we’re talking about a select audience. I don’t ever imagine I would be a household name. But, the fact that my father feels this way…that is what touches my heart.  Whether it’s to be or not to be.  And as it is, I value a certain amount of anonymity.

What really got me, though, was that I read my poem Unbreakable to him, and immediately after he said it reminded him of an Emily Dickinson poem, No Rack Can Torture Me.

After reading hers, I was astounded at the similarity. Of course, she’s Emily Dickinson. I can hardly compare, but the spirit is quite similar. And for the record, while I may be a writer and poet, I am embarrassingly under-read when it comes to poetry…hers or others. Working on that. And here now is hers:

No rack can torture me, 
My soul’s at liberty. 
Behind this mortal bone 
There knits a bolder one 

You cannot prick with saw,  
Nor rend with scymitar. 
Two bodies therefore be; 
Bind one, and one will flee. 

The eagle of his nest 
No easier divest  
And gain the sky, 
Than mayest thou, 

Except thyself may be 
Thine enemy; 
Captivity is consciousness,
So’s liberty.

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17 thoughts on “Father, Fish, Poetry

  1. You are so great and you should be proud, parents like that don’t exist any more. One day You will get publish, and I, I will be the first in line to ask you to sign my book cause that would make my life, not only complete but then i will know that i am not living a lie. Love you Em

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dearest M. 🙏🏼 Once again, you honor me with your kind words. Here’s hoping I can make it happen someday. I feel with support like yours…I just may. Love you, too. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a nice share, thank you:) Funny I thought about your Dad today. When I read your work earlier I thought about how you have mentioned him before and his influence he has had on you. My parents have been a big influence on me and it is always nice when they are proud of/like my writing. The little kid in me:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Alisa! 🙏🏼 Yes…he did influence me greatly, despite the fact that he was teacher to thousands of students over 30 years working, and yet he was just my dad. So my learning was from living with him, informal but totally immersed in everything language. Osmosis, perhaps. I was an independent learner but with him engaging me, this coming full circle I suppose is the only outcome. I hope to make him proud. But my writing is because I must write to exist. 💜

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I very much understand this. My Dad was a teacher/musician, Mom an English/Lit major and writes poetry. So they had a big creative influence on both me and my brother. Just kind of feels like breathing to me to always be doing something creative. I feel pretty lucky as I am sure you do:)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, I do indeed. I was always a bit jealous of his students. But, I’m really not sure I’d want to be in my dad’s class. I was already in his class of life, and I think that was the right place to be. 😉 I mean…can you imagine evenings at home writing papers with him there? Haha. No thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Awww so fantastically sweet. It sounds like a wonderful day. That’s such an interesting comparison but I’m more enthralled just by the simplicity of reading your work a loud to your dad, overfilling with pride. Oh and the salmon looks delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Cameron. Yes…it was definitely a bonding moment. He is very proud. The salmon is my specialty! It is so mouthwateringly tender and flavorful…wish I could send you some. 😉🐟

      Liked by 1 person

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