Friday, August 2, 2013


This  marvel of expansive summer break 
Continually presents me with space,
Time, contemplative long pauses, 
Ever blossoming into
Images and

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

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