Continually presents me with space,
Time, contemplative long pauses,
Ever blossoming into
Hibbing High School, The Castle of the North,
Offered beautiful surroundings, exceptional
Teachers, discipline, and high standards.
Township demanded recompense for moving
Businesses, buildings, homes ever southward as
Mining companies discovered new veins of iron ore.
Wisely, town chose a spectacular school building,
Contemporary curricula, and high teacher salaries.
We wrote on lined paper, cutting and taping, then
On manual typewriters, correcting errors with
Round orange erasers with attached brushes to
Shed erasure detritus. Then Selectric typewriters
With magic backwards correcting-tape for typos.
With access to my brother and sister-in-law's
Computer for writing my dissertation, instructors
Freely gave multitudes of editorial suggestions
As I simply added, corrected, re-wrote, and honed
Content, grammar, and phrasing, inserting changes
Via Apple II word processing, rather than retyping
Entire document from the required alterations.
New teacher in my early 40s at St. Martin's College,
I realized and reaped benefits of all exemplary
Teachers and exceptional educational experiences.
For 20 years, I continue to apply and ply that craft.
As I edited student papers, I again appreciated clarity
Gained from teaching methods, sentence diagrams,
Corrections, feedback, editing, editing, and editing.
Poem writing minimally started in my early 20s
As an homage for my grandfather's death;
I wrote a first poem, "My Gramps," and usually
Wrote another for each person's passing.
Working with Jessie on the possibilities of a book,
She first suggested writing exercises of poetry,
which, although initially daunting, became my
preferred format. Poem titles began continually
erupting, writing simply occurred. Some titles
came from my analyst's summary of a session's
Specific, content, process, and/or progress.
This marvel of expansive summer break
Adds location, origin, genesis, and heritage.
Staffan asked Kea for yet more details;
Two previous generations emerge into clarity.
Additional history of writers of plays, songs,
And, my preferred format, poetry. Ahh, Family!
This marvel of expansive summer break.
Ann Beth Blake
(c) August 2, 2013