Thursday, April 7, 2011

In Honor of National Poetry Month: One by Carol Runyan Fuchs

April is National Poetry Month, so in honor of same, I'd like to share one of my favorite poems by my mother, the late Carol Runyan Fuchs.

She had a great affinity for the English language. More than a writer, she was an avid reader, and was a bit shy about her poetry. As a memorial to her, my father self-published a collection of Carol's poems in 1989 -- 28 of them, including five "fragments." I remember arguing with him about this last point, especially as one of her poems is entitled ""I Must Not Die And Let Them Find Unfinished Poems." It's the great irony held within the pages of this little book, called Poems On A Refrigerator Door.*

I think were she alive today she might be a little embarrassed by the collection, but I'm grateful my father thought to have it done. In this age of blogging and the Internet, we're much less shy about the concept of "self-publishing," as you're witnessing with me on a daily basis. Who knows, I might even have convinced her to publish her own poet's journal blog, like Taylor Mali's "Definitely Beautiful."

One of the most charming aspects of the book is that it is illustrated by the author. Hanno included eleven of my mother's sketches, the majority of which are of my brother, Michael. I realize now that he was her favorite subject, which stings a little, I'll admit. But I'm heartened by the fact that the one sketch of me included in the book is opposite the poem I'm sharing with you here.

A CERTAIN SWEETNESS

In everyone
I love or like
there is a certain sweetness.

I'm getting too old
to have any other
criterion.

Intelligence
is still important,
wit and humor too.
Strength is admired,
beauty appreciated.

But sweetness of the spirit,
the most docile of virtues,
seems closest to a soul.

* The book was published by Golden Quill Press, which still exists. Carol's collection, however, is out of print. If you're interested in getting a copy, try calling them. If they don't have any more, let me know. The proceeds from Poems On A Refrigerator Door originally went to pancreatic cancer research.

1 comment:

  1. wise & soulful.

    (btw, i found her poems on Amazon.)

    ReplyDelete