Through the Eyes of a Poet series #10
Through the Eyes of a Poet series by Christina M. Ward
Featured Poet: Susan Brearley
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.
Welcome friends and poetry lovers,
Today we celebrate Susan Brearley–and if you know her then you know her sense of humor and charismatic presence precedes her! But in case you didn’t know, she’s a gifted poet. I’m excited to shine the spotlight on her today, illuminate some of her work for you, and share a personal interview with Susan about her work.
Susan lives in the beautiful Mid-Hudson Valley, right around the corner from Eleanor Roosevelt’s cottage, Val-kill. She’s been living in the region since the early 1980’s, but originally hails from the Amish country in Pennsylvania. All of that sounds pretty dreamy and poetic to me! I think both would be a lovely places to visit.
Susan was a top student in every English, writing and composition class she ever took, showing early on her gift with words. She’s tutored, written for local newspapers, and was the editor for her college newspaper. Today, she shares her work on the Medium platform, which is where I had the pleasure of meeting her. She is a Top Writer in the Poetry badge, among others including Cooking, Women In Tech, Satire, Ideas, Short Story, Reading, Travel, This Happened To Me, Humor, and Food.
Susan writes free verse poetry, haiku, and tanka but is especially fond of haiku. I asked Susan about her work, her inspiration and writing process, and her thoughts on poetry–here’s my brief interview with Susan and a bit of her work.
Tell me about how you came to be a poet.
I was going through a relationship break up. It was a great outlet for all the emotions I was experiencing. I was also spending a lot of time in nature, hiking and meditating. That led to my love of the haiku and tanka forms. I love their simplicity.
Tell me about one of your poems that is very special to you, and why.
I love all my haiku’s. But there are some free verse that I love more. I love Nashville Eclipse Encounter, because I was feeling the energy of Nashville, its people, and the anticipation of waiting for the total solar eclipse. The poem helps me tap into the feeling of that each time I re-read it.
Nashville Eclipse Encounter
I see you.
You see me.
who are all these people sliding by us, as we spirit connect in voice and music and vibration
As the tone is rung, as the sound energy spreads, as it ripples out and touches the substance, the carbon, the elements where it vibrates and resists, it bounces like a rubber ball against a wall.
What are these forms, these shape shifters?
where are the code shifters who sense the tone who feel the spirit who absorb the word who bounce it back?
They are there, waiting for the tones. For their tones, for their word, for their circle, to catch the seed the dandelion casts, the pebble the creation drops, to touch the ripple, to feel the touch, to feel the movement of the tone from this tone to the next tone, to bounce from wave to wave.
or just to surf.
I’m also a fan of this one, and it turns out, many people like it too. It’s fun to do as spoken word at open mikes.
Don’t Wash My Dishes
It’s my meditation
my mental salvation
my soul’s libation.
I stand at this window
hands immersed in suds,
and scrubbing the chunks,
the slime, the grime, til there’s no line or twine,
And all the time…
Toe to toe with the oaks,
the birds, the porcupines
I’m disinclined to release
moment to another.
Unless, it’s also your meditation time.
I have a lot of my favorites published on Medium before I knew what I was doing there, and before I had become connected with the poet community there.
What is your greatest hope with regards to your poetry?
Someday I wouldn’t mind having a collection published and out on amazon.
Does your poetry have a message or a theme that you want to portray to the world?
I love nature and exploring all the ways that everything in the universe is connected.
How do your poems come to you? And how do you take them from the initial inspiration to the final poem? Tell me about your writing process.
I frequently go for walks in nature. If I spend a day on top of a mountain, standing with the trees, lakes and rivers, the words just come to me. They pop into my mind based on what I’m seeing, hearing and feeling all around me. That’s my favorite way to write.
Sometimes I will wake up with a poem in my mind right in those early moments of the day. I keep a journal by my bedside so I don’t lose those. I feel like they are gift from the universe. I honestly don’t know how it all works, but when I stay open to receiving them, they just come. I know that sounds mystical. And it feels mystical to me too.
One last question, what would you say to readers who do not normally read poetry to encourage them to read the genre?
There are so many people writing amazing poetry. One of the best ways to find more great poetry to read, is to ask a poet who their favorite poets are, living, or dead. Because every poet has favorites in both categories.
Thank you for reading about this featured poet. Please see her links below, give her a follow, a comment of support, or just hover and wait for her to do something hilarious—you won’t have to wait long!
–where you can find her work in the following pubs: House of Haiku, Haiku Hub, Romance Monsters, Rhyme Zone, A Cornered Gurl, Contemplate, From the Poet’s Heart, Law Of Connections, Literally Literary, MuddyUm, Scribe, Sonnetry
Join Susan’s newsletter!
By the way–Susan adds “But if you sign up for my newsletter and follow me on Medium, you’ll find out about all the new ways to connect with me. Let’s not rush things. I don’t know you that well yet.”
–See what I mean?
(Susan–you brighten my life with your wit.)
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.