What motivated/inspired you to write this book?
Reflecting on the diverse experiences of life: a grand marriage; foreign travel - we`ve lived in Paris, Florence, and southern Spain; teaching, painting, raising children, gardening, and practicing classical music; writing books on history, a novel, etc.; it struck me that my life has not only contained much art and striving for knowledge, but it has given me much to remember, to engage with, both with myself and my loved ones about our past, our present, and future.
Even streams store much along their banks, create sheltered coves and marshes,
and, in a figurative sense, after resting, continue to make progress.
This collection of 115 poems draws on many themes, including: hope, famous literature (novelists, poets), ageing, romantic love, philosophers, ethics, protest, marriage, natural beauty, childhood, education, ekphrastic poetry, and poetics.
This book is largely autobiographical. I seem to be piecing out my life like a colorful `quilt,` a pattern not found in quilting books, but recognizable by others. Sharing one`s life is another form of teaching, and I always thought that a noble profession. I have found no real obstacles, since I regard life`s lessons very similar to those we teachers teach our students, using history or literature for material.
I accumulated this material through conscious living, long years of studying literature, history and several foreign languages, reflecting on the diverse experiences of life. I usually write at night. I think of an object or experience, reach for my pen and paper, and the poem emerges: sometimes in as little as five minutes.
`Streaming consciousness,` a term recognized since the mid-l9th century, was defined as an interior monologue or unedited continuous chronological flow of the mind`s conscious experience.
The author regards these pieces as edited interior dialogues, for a monologue would not produce such varying perspectives. But stream these poems do, as do thoughts, actions, memories. The reader will note that many describe the `lives` of rivulets, streams, and rivers, and how they affect the poet before they eventually empty into the sea, which may be viewed as the vast ocean of human experience, i.e., life. The ocean represents life, since life began there.
The poet views hope, as in her poem `Aspiration,` as a chance to win the best things in life (idealism), just as early man hoped to learn how to clothe himself by making boots for cold weather in `Footwear: A History.`
`In Dubious Battle,` farm workers hope for justice in terms of respect and fair wages. `Pen and I` conveys hope by artistic creation. Other themes include intimacy, education, childhood, sensitivity, frustration, governmental and social injustice, nature, family relationships, social protest. Not all her poems treat only what their titles suggest; each poem contains some surprise content.
Barbara Sher Tinsley Ph.D. (Stanford, `83), is a Fulbright Fellow who published works in Reformation Studies/Early Modern Europe. Having taught history, French, and English for many years, she turned to creative writing, producing her first novel: Candida`s Own Italian Renaissance; A Sensuous Journey Through Time (2015) and her first book of poetry Art, Passion, Poetry (SBPRA), (2015).
Publisher`s website: http://sbprabooks.com/BarbaraSherTinsley
Taal / Language : English