Shortly before I came east to the Yale Writer's Workshop, the editor of Your Daily Poem sent me a note saying she planned to put up a poem of mine for Father's Day. It was a poem called "Prayer," about my son, written before he started writing plays. It's at http://www.yourdailypoem.com/listpoem.jsp?poem_id=1500
Before she put it up I sent it to a fairly wide circle of friends and acquaintances. I included the fifteen-line poem. It was one of those poems I'd written and then forgotten, based on a real-life incident when Scotty stood preparing himself to dive for a good three minutes. I thought no one would ever be interested in such a quiet poem. I'd never tried to publish it until I threw it in with some other poems for the perspicacious online Editor Jayne Jaudon Ferrer.
A friend I'm out of contact with sent me a note saying the poem made her cry. I know it sounds backwards, but her comment make me feel good. I didn't believe the poem had that emotional impact. Also, when I read it at Yale many folks came up to say they were moved by it.
Emotional impact could be the middle name of my second session teacher at Yale, Rick Jackson, a professor who lives poetry. He gave me wonderfully helpful comments on my poems, and of course, he saw some ways to improve what was already out there with my name on it. Maybe I should put it up both ways in a blog and let people vote. But no, that’s another puzzle I have to solve for myself. I have to remind myself how much I enjoy this.
Now I’m in NYC with Scotty. A great thing about hanging out with him is he gets me into the good plays early—we saw “Book of Mormon” in its second week. Tonight we’re going to see “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812.” I’d never heard of it but I’d not heard much about the Book of Mormon when he took me to it either.
Causes Kevin Arnold Supports
Poetry Center San Jose, East Palo Alto Police Activities League (EPA PAL), Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Yale Writing Conference, Gold Rush Writers