I feel like crying.
Some of you know my father is a retired professor of English at both the University of Washington, and a private high school for 30 plus years. You may also know that I was named after Emily Dickinson. You may also know, while I’ve always enjoyed writing, I only started writing poetry seriously about a year ago. (I have not taken poetry classes, and while I know a few famous poems and poets here and there, I have not deeply studied any poetry until recent months.)
Occasionally, I share a poem on FB. Well, just now my dad messages me the following (and he NEVER messages me on FB):
“I have been really enjoying your poetry and photography. You have an eye, and an ear, and they give a depth and seriousness to your work. You are a true talent.
I think almost all your poems have a moment of genius, and that is pretty rare. So I am not surprised that your readership is rising steadily. The funny thing is that I am not an unbiased reader! So you have to take my appreciation with a grain of salt, since what I see is colored by the fact that I love you as your father.
I try to make all my comments the product of my years of teaching and reading.”
And he’s only seen a handful. This is my motivation to publish, for him.
And after all of the trauma of this year, his cancer and subsequent broken back which he is still recovering from, and my brother’s health crises…along with my health recovery, well, a little light is necessary for survival.
I have not heard back from the Poet Laureate yet, but this is a much better gift. The best of all.