Monday, February 11, 2008

when it rains it pours...

Carl Sandburg and I...

I started loving poetry at a very young age. I was probably first exposed to Whitman in the 6th or 7th grade and had flirting affairs with many of the Romantics, Beats, Transcendentalists...but for a long time my life coincided with Sanburg in a supersitious way. I didn't really become exposed to Sandburg until the beginning of college. I think it started with reading 'Chicago' and 'A Fence'. And then his work started following me, fitting in with the way my life was unfolding. I carried him with me.

Then one day at the end of the college year I was stopping by to see a professor and decided to peek in on my advisor and old family friend (the awlays magnanimous) Frank Battaglia. I had no scheduled meeting with him and only caught him by chance as he was cleaning up around his office. Once he saw me he said, 'I have something for you. I was expecting you to stop by because as I was cleaning I saw this and thought Jenn is supposed to have this.' He then handed me a giant, worn compilation of Sandburg's poems. To say the least I was both touched and baffled. I held the book in my hands, did a quick flip of its precious vintage pages, and looked up at Frank, "How did you know I would stop by? Are you really giving this to ME?" In small terms I was in awe. Thankful to be me in that moment. And he replied, "I just knew. I knew you needed this." So I gushed about my recent love affair with Sandburg, and that handing me that book was as close to the feeling of being given a bible that I could fathom. Thank you Frank. Thank you Sandburg. Thank you poetry!

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to let you know I dropped in. xoxoxox
    Love you.



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