Niamh Clune

Environment, poetry, comment, children's books,

The Wednesday Poetry Corner With Jenean Gilstrap

I like to introduce new voices to the plum tree. In this week’s Wednesday Corner, I share the wonderful voice of gypsy lady and poet, Jenean Gilstrap. Jenean writes with passion and flair, colour and vibrancy. You can almost hear the sound of castanets in her rhythms as she Tangos with words. Many thanks Jenean for joining us here on the plum tree.passion and poetry

Of Passion and Poetry…

By Jenean C. Gilstrap
Since earliest childhood, I have had a passion for – a love of – a lust for – words.  All words – in any context – a single word…a phrase…a paragraph…a page…a book.  For me, words are works of art – to be seen and heard and felt for their beauty – for their truth.  Words are alive – they have heart and they touch the heart in us.  Words are spiritual entities – they lift us up – they transport us to that other realm – the realm beyond the here and now.  Words, like a beautiful flower or a delicious fruit, are to be tasted, to be savored to their core, each one offering a different color, a different flavor, a different texture.  If one hears and sees and feels in their heart and soul the beauty and truth of words  – if one is transported to other realms in the word – if one languishes in their taste upon the tongue – then, that passion for words – for poetry – demands that one has more…and more.  It is inescapable – that passion.  It is a driving force to read more, to write more…words…poetry.

 Joss Whedon speaks intimately of passion:  Passion. It lies in all of us. Sleeping… waiting… and though unwanted, unbidden, it will stir… open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us… guides us. Passion rules us all. And we obey. What other choice do we have?

Ralph Waldo Emerson believed that…passion makes all things alive and significant…and T.S. Eliot wrote that…we can no more explain a passion to a person who has never experienced it than we can explain light to the blind.

As for a favorite poet or a favorite poem, it is impossible to limit it to but one.  However, the work of the magnificent Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda [July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973], who became known as a poet while still a teen-ager, is exemplary of a visceral romantic passion wrapped in words/poetry.

 Sonnet XVII

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Another great poet, Edgar Allan Poe, spoke of poetry.  For him, poetry…was not…a purpose, but a passion.  So it is with me.  I have a passion for words.  The word is poetry.  Poetry is a passion.

About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books.

23 comments on “The Wednesday Poetry Corner With Jenean Gilstrap

  1. Maxima
    July 31, 2013

    Reblogged this on Spiritual challenges .


  2. am so honored and humbled to be included by Plum Tree Books – Niamh Clune is to be congratulated for her vision and beauty and purity of thought deed and spirit as this magnificent literary tree feeds/nourishes the spirit of us all…thank you so much Niamh – and many thanks to all your readers and contributors..


    • ontheplumtree
      July 31, 2013

      Well, It is east to nourish others when we drink from souls such as yours.


  3. many thanks maxima…your thoughtful generosity is greatly appreciated!


  4. Pendyala Pradeep
    July 31, 2013

    I could actually hear the sound of castanets in her poetry…


  5. Pingback: The Wednesday Poetry Corner With Jenean Gilstrap | BUTTERFLIES OF TIME

  6. Pendyala Pradeep
    July 31, 2013

    Dear Niamh Clune, I have been following Plum Tree for the last three months and I must congratulate you and various contributors for their excellent work….Dr Pendyala Pradeep, Anaesthesiologist.


    • ontheplumtree
      July 31, 2013

      Pendyala.I am busy finding talent and coming up with how to keep this blog interesting and interactive, editing, preparing posts and finding relevant pictures etc., for posts submitted. Plum Tree Books covers everything from poetry to children’s books to causes. Your interest is most welcome.


  7. thank you so much for your comment Pendylala – it’s so gratifying to receive such kind words!


  8. thiskidreviewsbooks
    July 31, 2013

    I like the picture! I also like Edgar Allen Poe. I like the poem too! 😀


  9. Uncle Tree
    July 31, 2013

    Welcome, Jenean! It’s great to have you hanging here with the rest of we “fruits” on the plum tree. 🙂 And if you’re not really a fruit, feel free to feel fruity for now, and from here until eternity lets go and we drop into oblivion.

    Did I say, “Hello!” ? Anywhoo, I feel your passion, and therefore, you have my condolences. Pablo is cool. Poe blows my mind. Plums pucker me up.

    Nice to meet you! Really. Peace and luvz, Keith


    • Uncle Tree
      July 31, 2013

      “Those who control their passions do so because
      their passions are weak enough to be controlled.”

      William Blake


    • ontheplumtree
      August 1, 2013

      Uncle Tree! Welcome…Always. We must get you back soon to share your leaves with us!


    • oh, dear…how could i have not already have responded to such a welcoming comment! my apologies, UT…and not to fret, i’ve been a bit fruity all my life or so i’ve been told! thank goodness! 🙂 many thanks for such a wonderful welcome, sir… peace and luv…j


      • Uncle Tree
        August 31, 2013

        Oh, my! What was written in the stars last night?
        We both returned to the scene → for crimineez sake!
        Plum crazy! Zappa crazy! Dweezil weasel wOw!

        The Sirens of Dr. Clune sounding off? 😉


  10. Juliette
    September 6, 2013

    Thank you Jenean for your beautiful words and thoughts on poetry.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: