A Little Poetic License

Post Script is available in paperback from Toadstool Books. Click on the image to purchase.

Publication Announcement

I am pleased to have a poem of mine featured in another anthology published by the Peterborough Poetry Project.  The editor of the anthology describes it as “[A]n anthology of postcard poetry (“Post Script”) with postcard poems, essays, and a little history of postcards and postcard poetry in the U.S.”

As soon as I saw the call for submissions, I knew had to submit because I love the idea of postcard poetry. (Getting a postcard in the mail was a very big deal when I was a kid.) The call required each poem be written on a postcard and mailed to the editor. The two poems I wanted to submit were inspired by family photographs, so I used Zazzle to create actual postcards to mail.

Companion Pieces

I wrote the two poems as companion pieces, which is how I’m sharing them here. “Velma” is the one that appears in the anthology.

Click image to enlarge.

Candia, New Hampshire, 1926: Velma

Velma stands wary
newly wed, emigrated
Candia homestead
splintered clapboards, reclaimed fields
speak of loss, the story’s end

Click image to enlarge.

Candia, New Hampshire, 1926: Ronald

Ronald with prospects
up-and-coming engineer
Candia homestead
put it on the auction block
when the last great-uncle dies

Candia Homestead in 1900 Click image to enlarge.

So, Where Does Poetic License Come In?

While the facts of the family history are accurate, I changed Ronald’s attitude to make for a better story, and I feel guilty.

123 thoughts on “A Little Poetic License

    1. I love the idea and may have to “borrow” it? I’ve got a stack of postcards from my travels and perhaps it is time they find new homes. Now I shall have to collect the addresses of where to send them. Most of the people I would generally send them to are not into poetry…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? I have journal entries written by my first ancestor to immigrate to America. The original copies are in Swedish but they have been translated. I have thought of building a story around that. I even read a series of books written about those who were immigrants to America at about that same time. Like those in the books, she crossed the sea in a ship, crossed Canada down to America and from Minnesota by covered wagon until they reached Washinton State.

        Liked by 3 people

  1. Congrats, Liz. I always assume poets use fiction elements to help universalize or make anonymous. The loss of family property does happen for a variety of reasons, but it’s kind of you to keep his motives intact by way of explanation. 🙂 The photos are wonderful!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. As you always do, Liz – you have me thinking several thoughts about the themes that have come out of this discussion. As we move along our time line, our desire to look back increases because there is a greater sense of the impermanence of life. I love looking through my father’s photos/postcards and view people (who share my DNA) I will never know. They smile out of the photo and I endeavour to understand their lives, their hopes dreams, their sorrows and difficulties. Postcards crystallize a time and place that will only known through the 4”X6” aging piece of paper. I love that you have used the words of poetry to give life to your postcards. Congratulations on the publishing of your poems.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thank you very much for your thoughtful comments, Rebecca. It’s disconcerting to think of how many people I will never know who share my DNA. I’ve been thinking more and more about the impermanence of life lately.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Congratulations on the success of your postcard poetry. You may have used poetic license and felt guilty about Ronald’s poem but, to me, both poems came across as very real and true to the times they lived in. Life was hard and hard decisions often had to be made, particularly on farms.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. That’s such a great way to gather submissions, Liz. I love that idea and it’s so cool that you turned the photos into postcards for the project. Poetic liscense is fine. The story is key. 🙂 Congrats on the publication!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Sometimes one just needs a bit of poetic licence – and it works so well here!😀

    Liz, like so many others here I’m drawn to by Postcard Poetry format and one I look forward to playing around with – maybe even in actual postcards! You tell poignant stories with just a few lines – wonderful!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Wonderful! I’m also of an age that enjoys postcards. I still buy and send them. And I’ve never before thought of them as a vehicle for poetry and essays; I tend to focus on the visual image. You’ve opened my writing and reading world yet again, Liz. Kudos on your publication in the anthology!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Congratulations, Liz!
    I can read/see why Velma is the winner!
    Don’t feel guilty!
    Although I wonder if you hadn’t changed Ronald’s attitude, would he have been a winner, too?
    Great writes, Liz!

    Liked by 3 people

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