Through the Eyes of a Poet series #3
Through the Eyes of a Poet series by Christina M. Ward
Featured Poet: Lora K Lucente
Objective: To encourage people to broaden their reading interests through poetry, support the poetry community, and introduce you to poets and their personal stories.
For updates on this series: Join this Author Newsletter.
Lora K. Lucente fell in love with poetry through a musical path. Her love for music took her to college, introduced her to writing, and birthed in her a love for poetry. Truly gifted lyricists are poets. I understand Lora’s path very well as the music of the Counting Crows is instrumental in developing my love for poetry.
Lora shared with me about her musical path to poetry:
How long have you been writing?:
I started writing poetry in middle school, which was over 20 years ago. For me, it began as music. I’ve always been drawn to music that has deep and engaging lyrics. Some of the biggest inspirations for me at that time were Simon & Garfunkel, John Denver, Queen, Tori Amos, and the Beatles. Additionally, I grew up during the age of 90’s alternative music which has a ton of incredible lyricists. It wasn’t long that I began paying more attention in English class while being encouraged by my middle school English teacher to read and write poetry.
What is your educational background regarding writing?:
While I do not have a degree in writing, I’ve spent a great portion of my time in college writing educational/research and corporate/training papers. I’ve also written dozens of training guides throughout my career experiences. More recently, I have taken a copywriting course and began a copywriting business. However, when I began my college education, I was a music major (voice) which heavily relied upon the context of lyrics – though not writing the words, I spent a lot of time analyzing song lyrics.
My poetry is published on Medium (aside from my own website) in Scribe, House of Haiku, Soul & Sea, Imperfect Words, Get Inside, and Unlearning and Learning publications.
Describe the vision / style / content / etc of your poetry?:
My poetry tends to revolve around themes of healing, nature, mysticism and emotions. I had a tough childhood, with middle school being a really hard time for me – poetry was always there to help me and hold me, whether I was reading or writing it. Even the terrible poems I had written still had a part in my development, expression, understanding my being, and overcoming obstacles.
My current vision with my website, Ambient Writing, is to use my poetry as a way to connect with others, promoting healing, confidence, and self-care. There are a lot of hurting people in the world, and I’d like to think my purpose in writing poetry is to help others. I hope I do so they know they’re not alone.
Lora’s mission as a poet speaks to my heart. I am thankful to Lora for agreeing to interview with me and share with us a little bit about her work, her writing process, and her thoughts on the poetry genre. So without further adieu…
Tell me about your writing process with regards to writing poetry, specifically.
My process usually starts out with an emotional or visual idea and inspiration – movement stirring inside and I have to write it down. I try to stick to a writing schedule, but sometimes the muse isn’t awake when I need her to be. Generally, once the idea stirs, I pick up my good old-fashioned journal and pen, and I just write! I’ve found the musculoskeletal kinetic process of writing in a journal helps to encourage natural creative flow.
Typically, I just free-write and get it all out on the paper – even the ugliness. I don’t usually get stuck on a word or line, sometimes it happens, but for the most part I just freely write it all down. After which, I will read over it and do a first edit for any grammar. Then I close the journal and walk away – I like to let the poem simmer! I will re-visit that same day or the next day, so that when I re-read the poem, it’s more fresh, like I’m reading it as a reader not the author.
At this point, I will convert the handwritten pages and type the poem in a Google doc. This is great for editing as well as being able to save it to the drive. Then I read it over again. After reading through, I will go over line by line, stanza by stanza, and make any adjustments. Some questions I will ask myself are: “Does this convey a message/point, or is it all over the place?”; “Does this flow, or is it too wordy?”; “Are there any redundancies?”; “Does this pull emotion or is it flat?” With these questions, I find I can better revise and shape the poem.
Tell me about one of your poems that is very special to you, and why.
My husband and I have had struggles with fertility, including miscarriage. It’s something I’m still working through, personally. I had written a poem “The Cloak of Nurture” late one night, after having some anxiety and a heavy crying session. A lot was going on at the time, and I was feeling very alone with not being a mother – not being understood in my losses.
After reading some posts on Facebook – family and friends with their adorable, smart, clever, talented children – I started wondering what my baby would have been like. They would have just turned 3 at that time, so I started thinking about all the fun, crazy, cute, and amazing things 3 years do and say. Then I cried some more! Then, I started writing. My husband was snoring away, not knowing anything that was going on – it’s ok though, because I need alone-time and privacy when writing poetry.
While this poem means a lot to me personally, my hope is that it at least touches one other person who has gone through or is going through infertility/miscarriage/child loss and maybe bring them comfort that they’re not actually alone.
Living With Miscarriage and Infertility
I thought of you that day,
The moment the red pierced the vale of life.
I once had dreams for you,
You once held a hope within me.
I’ve wondered where you’ve gone,
How can I know you but not see your eyes?
How was I so close yet so far away,
From holding your purpose in my arms?
Finish reading this poem:
What would you say to people who may not consider poetry to be “their thing?”
There are a couple of points I would make – the major one being that many people may not realize that poets still exist in the 21st Century! In my experience, most people who do not care for poetry often have been turned off by it during school – while they were forced to read the classics, the language may have not connected with them. Maybe they think all poetry is just a bunch of “dead poets” who use words like “thou”, “shall” and “comest”, and they just don’t like the style?
Another major point I would bring is how poetry is in music – much of music has poetic lyrics, from opera to folk to rock to rap. I would challenge them to view their listening habits and see what poems are within their favorite songs.
Lastly, I would explain how there are so many different styles to writing poetry – maybe they read something on social media or even Medium, and just didn’t like it. Not liking one poem or a particular style of a writer does not mean that all poetry is lost. I would encourage them to keep reading and they will find a style and/or poet(s) who intrigues and inspires them. Poetry is an art, just like music and painting – there are so many genres and styles, poets, and creative opportunities with poetry!
One last question, do you define your poetry or does your poetry define you? Why?
I believe, for the most part, my poetry defines me. When I set out to write a poem, I’m overwhelmingly driven by my emotion and the desire to express those emotions and thoughts into visual words. I’m not a great painter/drawer, but with poetry, I can cover a canvas with words and dream up a scene. Most of the time, I go back to the poem after it has been finished to analyze what is meant, the story that came out. Surely, I start with an idea, but I’m never tactical and technical with my approach. This may be something I need to grow in, though, but I my poetry comes out in waves of emotion, not so much like an outline or plan. This is why I feel my poetry defines me.
Thank you for reading this edition of Through the Poet’s Eyes with Lora K. Lucente. I hope you will follow this poet on her journey of poetry; the music of her life. Additionally, here is one of Lora’s poems that I found incredibly beautiful:
Sparkles and Lace
Eyes waking, frosty dreams dancing alive,
Silence speaking loudest, breathing in blue sighs.
Wishes from youth, white lace, sparkling and fair,
Covering old hopes, heart pulling despair.
I hear a voice; singing, haunting–it’s mine,
Steps taken softly, gently, undefined.
Continue reading this poem at: Sparkles and Lace
Thank you Lora for sharing a bit of your poetic journey with us. I appreciate your ability to put your life to the music of poetry. Your personal message, inquisitive descriptions, and heartfelt depth are a gift to readers who experience your work. Keep writing!
If you would like to follow Lora’s journey, read her work, and become a fan, you can find her on the following platforms:
Thank you for reading about this featured poet. I invite you to include poetry in your reading and give this genre a chance to enrich your life. I will be featuring poets on my blog (Author Website), in my newsletter (Author Newsletter), and on my Medium platform (Fiddleheads & Floss Poetry). I welcome you to read about these poets, support them, and perhaps find a poet that brings something very meaningful to your life.
Christina Ward, poet, author, and blogger