Truth and Admiring Bogs

It took me a long time to decide to blog (and I’m really only doing so because my publisher asked it of me). And it took me all afternoon to come up with a title for my blog. Emily Dickinson’s poetry lines float around my head at times, and especially, of late, because I went to see ‘The Belle of Amherst’ at Act One Theater in Portsmouth last week. As a teen, I carried Emily Dickinson’s poetry and Walt Whitman’s poetry in my knapsack and memorized a few lines. Their poetry was with me when I dared myself to jump on a train as it slowed near a creek where I hung out as a kid. I was too afraid. Their poetry was with me when I skipped school and went to the waterfalls with friends. Friends who dared me to jump. I was too afraid. Emily and Walt Whitman were my companions as a teen, but it was Emily I admired the most. She kept me from jumping into many dangers and nourished me with her beautiful loneliness and honesty. Once, in trying to impress someone of importance, I recited a line of her poetry, “success is counted sweetest by those who ne’er succeed.” Or at least I thought I said it correctly, but I actually said this, “sex is counted sweetest by those who ne’er succeed.” The important person was a therapist, probably a sex therapist, too, and I left her presence laughing thinking that it probably meant the same thing to her. Of course, there has been much analysis of Emily Dickinson’s poetry and her life, but each of us can take a line of poetry and make it our own to treasure and sustain us on days when the long corridors of our minds are dark and brooding. I judged a fiction contest recently and as I listed the criteria for winning stories, Emily came to me again, “Tell all the Truth but tell it slant—
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise
As Lightening to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind—”
I want to hear an original, refreshing tale of the same old heartache and blues, but told to me skewed, bent, and zig zagging into my heart and mind. Shelley said that poetry “reproduces the common universe… and it purges from our inward sight the film of familiarity which obscures from us the wonder of our being…It creates anew the universe, after it has been annihilated in our minds by the recurrence of impressions blunted by reiteration” I think all writing should do this, to a measure. As I finished my first blog entry, I shuddered to think I might be croaking to an admiring bog (because no one really believes I am a very private person, but I am). And then I looked down at the mouse pad and saw it was a picture of frogs in a bog. Oh, Emily…

About cynthianeale

I am the author of The Irish Dresser Series that includes The Irish Milliner and Norah, The Making of an Irish-American Woman in 19th Century New York (Fireship Press), two young adult historical fiction novels, The Irish Dresser and Hope in New York City (White Mane), and Pavlova in a Hat Box, Sweet Memories & Desserts. I’ve written a screenplay, The Irish Dresser series, adapted from these works and I’m ready to sell! My historical fiction novel, Catharine, Queen of the Tumbling Waters, a story about a real life Native American/French woman set during the French and Indian War and American Revolution in Pennsylvania and New York is being released in April 2023 by Bedazzled Publishers. I write plays, screenplays, essays, and short stories. I am a native of the Finger Lakes region in New York and reside in New Hampshire. I enjoy reading, writing, Irish set dancing, waltzing, walking, learning about nature, traveling, painting, baking fanciful desserts, kayaking, creating events for food, dance, and fund raising, invisible volunteering, laughing until it hurts, and dreaming about possibilities.
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1 Response to Truth and Admiring Bogs

  1. lola says:

    love the pic you chose, cynthia! great blog 🙂 i will follow it!
    what a treat, reading you in the net!!

    much love, lola

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