Monday, March 21, 2011

My Poetry Year: Entry #6

In which Your Humble Blogger writes a poem as a gift for an author she respects -- and gets a gift back in turn:

"The Secret"

It isn't that while others aged, white Merlin became young.
It's that he loved good stories, and throughout his life, he learned
As many as he could. He bound them to his breast and tongue.
He kept his bookshelves full -- and seemed to keep the hourglass turned.

* * *

Ah, C2E2, the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo. It took place for the second time this past weekend; the first one was last year, in April. There's a certain kind of energy that comes from visiting with artists and writers who put so much of themselves into creating images and telling stories. I think that, if you're a creative type, it would be hard to go to a convention and not want to do something.

At last year's C2E2, I had the pleasure of talking at length with one of my favorite writers, Peter Beagle, who's best known for The Last Unicorn. Peter Beagle is a big fan of the old stuff, especially classic poetry, and he can recite entire multi-page poems off the top of his head. Which he did, spontaneously, at C2E2, causing my jaw to drop rapidly and seek a nice spot on the floor.

So Mr. Beagle's a pretty nifty guy, and at the time of C2E2, he was finishing up his 52/50 Project, which involved him writing one song lyric a week for a year and sending them out to subscribers. I mentioned that his pursuit of this goal was one of the things that inspired me to get back into poetry and try to engage in writing it with some regularity. He seemed to appreciate the thought. So what did Geeky Fangirl Me decide to do, having heard him mention that his birthday was coming up? Why, I decided to write him a poem! The day after C2E2, I wrote what you read above, and later, I e-mailed it to Connor Cochran, his kind gentleman of a publisher, asking him to pass it along.

And then, Peter Beagle sent me an e-mail. On his birthday, no less.

I wish I could share it here, but it seems weird to repost someone's personal message without his permission. But I got a message back: He liked it, enough that he had printed it out and forwarded it to friends.

Funny. People are supposed to get the gifts on their birthdays, not give them!


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