National Poetry Month; April 20

Hi friends!

Families: can’t live with them, can’t live without them!

Okay, that’s a cliche, and the truth lies someplace in between those two. Notice how I say “truth lies?” Quite an oxymoron indeed. One thing I notice with family, is how specific memories are, how one sibling’s perspective on a singular childhood event might be completely different than another. Also, how certain phases of one’s life might bridge you closer to a family member, or further apart. And then, how we handle family “obligations.” Is there guilt? Remorse? Births, graduations, ceremonies, divorces, retirements, deaths. How do we handle these often delicate transitions among family members?

One poem of mine that has garnered a lot of attention since the publication of Microtones, is “Legacy,” which is not biographical in any direct sense, but its theme is family. You can read it here:

The Lost Bookshelf Homepage

The poet I share today is Sharon Olds. She’s a veteran poet, stunning at the self-reveal, and focus on personal relationships, family matters. Her poem “I Go Back to May 1937” is a heart-wrenching visit back to her parent’s roots:

Robert Vaughan reads “I Go Back to May 1937” from Sharon Olds – YouTube

How did your parents meet? How did you meet your partner/spouse/lover? Can you experience or see it from the other person’s point-of-view?

About Robert Vaughan

Originally from NY, Robert leads week long National writing retreats at sites like Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Synergia Ranch, and EarthRise IONS. His poems and fiction are published in over 600 print and online magazines, such as Necessary Fiction, BlazeVOX, Los Angeles Weekly, Literary Orphans and Smokelong Quarterly. He is Editor-in-Chief at Bending Genres and leads round- tables for Redoak Writing in Milwaukee. He is nine times a Pushcart Prize Nominee and his fiction and poetry have won awards, including a Micro-Fiction runner-up (2012) and twice a finalist in the Gertrude Stein Fiction Award (2013-14). His books are: Microtones (Cervena Barva Press); Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps); Addicts & Basements (Civil Coping Mechanisms); RIFT, co-authored with Kathy Fish (Unknown Press), and FUNHOUSE (Unknown Press).
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