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Original Poem: "A Book of Frost" with Commentary

Updated on March 18, 2018
Maya Shedd Temple profile image

Writing poetry became my major composing activity circa 1962, and taking a creative writing class in 1963-64 deepened my growing interest.

Moonlight and Frost

Source

Introduction and Text of Poem, "A Book of Frost"

My poem, " A Book of Frost," features postmodernist vagueness while zeroing in on the specificity that jump starts the incredulity of the postmodernist mind confused by its own clarity. If lies become truth with repetition, then repetition becomes the enemy of clarity, despite the animosity that will always prevail in the hater for the hated.

I dedicate this poem to my daughter, who despises poetry, and who insists she could never understand poetry. A lot of people do not “understand” poetry. Fortunately, or unfortunately as the case may be, that does not keep poets from writing the stuff.

A Book of Frost

for my daughter

Each winter sprite has walked the air a slave
To circumstances she once deemed her joy.
New rime that lined the stillness of her cave
Fetched folded hands of time to hold her buoy.
If sudden gales mount rushing at her back
Forcing chills that numb her mind to stone,
She will tame and temper every track
And feel the fasting marrow of the bone.
With pains she strains aloof becoming strong
Yet slowly limns the glad road down to time
Where never any being can belong
Without a pardon for an unknown crime.
Now she is slogging unbowed through the storm
To fling the book of frost to light and form.

Commentary

"A Book of Frost" from Turtle Woman and Other Poems by Linda Sue Grimes is an Elizabethan (Shakespearean or English) sonnet.

First Quatrain: Life's Vicissitudes

The speaker is an individual experienced in life’s vicissitudes who is addressing an individual much less so, that is, one with such naiveté as to expect the material world to give her all her heart and soul desires.

It may be unfortunate that parents are not perfect, and equally unfortunate that children also are not perfect. Living together in some semblance of peace is all that can be hoped for in the busy world of Maya delusion. Passing on precepts will, however, always exist on this cold planet, even if prayer seems passé.

Second Quatrain: Victims of the Mainstream

Somewhat rudderless, clueless victims of mainstream pollution will gather their politics into a faulty grip on reality, as their inconsistencies prevent their ability to fathom and spring forward because that’s the ways the world rolls, man. It is funny yet admirable how the worst of the worst still contribute, still offer plenty of balm in time of sorrow, still deserve love and attention—although less of the latter is better.

Third Quatrain: The Language of Non-Striving

All the unknown crimes of the world may land on one's doorstep, but who will imagine that the dusty past will cause a sweetness and beauty to blow past them? The speaker has left that admonition to the divine essence because she has finally discovered the futility of language among the crowd who are not striving for enlightenment.

Couplet: The Big Dog of Karma

The speaker is probably being overly optimistic in the couplet. Even Shakespeare often allowed his desire for closure to blind him to the fact that not every story can end happily. Not every book can end with an “a ha” love and roses moment.

Be gentle and kind to the older generation, younger generation, and they will be gentle and kind to you. Hate them for all they could not give you, and you might find your keister being bitten by the big dog of Karma.

"The Wind Mill Chapel"

Linda Sue Grimes at the Wind Mill Chapel, SRF Lake Shrine
Linda Sue Grimes at the Wind Mill Chapel, SRF Lake Shrine | Source

Life Sketch of Linda Sue Grimes

The Windmill Chapel

In the temple of silence
By the lake, we sit
In stillness, meditating
In divine Bliss.

Returning to our daily minds,
We walk out into the sunshine,
And the flowers greet us.

The Literary Life

After graduating from Centerville Senior High School in Centerville, Indiana, in 1964, Linda Sue Grimes completed her baccalaureate degree with a major in German at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, in 1967. She married Ronald Grimes on March 10, 1973.

As a writer, Grimes focuses on poetry, short fiction, politics, spirituality, and vegan/vegetarian cooking, which results in her original veggie recipes.

Literary Studies

Although music was her first love, Grimes considers herself primarily a literary specialist as she creates her own poetry, studies the poetry and literary arts of classic writers, and writes commentaries about classic poems.

However, Grimes does continue to express her love of music by writing her own original songs, which she records, accompanying herself on guitar or keyboard. She shares her musical compositions at SOUNDCLOUD.

After completing the PhD degree in British, American, and World Literature with a cognate in Rhetoric/Composition at Ball State University in 1987, Grimes taught English composition in the English Department at BSU as a contractual assistant professor from 1987 until 1999.

Publishing History

Grimes has published poems in many literary journals, including Sonoma Mandala, Rattle, and The Bellingham Review. She has published three books of poems: Singing in the Silence, Command Performance, and Turtle Woman & Other Poems, and a book of fables titled Jiggery-Jee's Eden Valley Stories.

Grimes published her first cookbook in the spring of 2013, titled The Rustic Veggie-Table: 100 Vegan Recipes. She is working on a second cookbook and her fourth book of poems.

Currently, at Owlcation, Grimes (Maya Shedd Temple) posts her poetry commentaries. On LetterPile, she shares her creative writing of poems and short fiction, along with prose commentaries on each piece. She posts recipes resulting from her experimental cooking of vegan/vegetarian dishes. on Delishably. She posts her politically focused pieces at Soapboxie, and her commentaries focusing on music at Spinditty. Pieces on the writing process appear at Hobbylark.

Spirituality

Linda Sue Grimes has been a devotee of Paramahansa Yogananda and a member of his organization, Self-Realization Fellowship, since 1978. A Kriyaban since 1979, she has completed the four Kriya Initiations, and she continues to study the teachings and practice the yoga techniques as taught by the great spiritual leader, who is considered to be the "Father of Yoga in the West."

Grimes practices the chants taught by the guru accompanying herself on the harmonium. She serves at her local SRF Meditation Group as one of the chant leaders.

Online Literary Presence

In addition to the contributions of her literary works to Owlcation, LetterPile, and SOUNDCLOUD, Grimes also curates her original creative literary pieces at her literary home, Maya Shedd Temple, on Medium, where she features her creative writing without commentaries.

Grimes also maintains an additional online presence on Facebook and Twitter.

© 2016 Linda Sue Grimes

Comments

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  • Maya Shedd Temple profile image
    Author

    Linda Sue Grimes 2 years ago from U.S.A.

    Thank you, John. I never think of my work as promoting poetry, just perhaps uncovering it. I'll have to have a look at your Hub. Thanks for letting me know about it.

  • Jodah profile image

    John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

    Nice Sonnet, Linda. Your attempt to promote poetry is admirable. I have written a few poems aimed at people who say they don't like poetry, and trying to promote it's value. My latest hub "Alas Poor Jodah, I Knew Him.."

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