Who is on the plum tree?
I have great pleasure in introducing you to a dear friend of Plum Tree Books: Beverley Hoyles. Beverley is a wonderful poet, her works are always love-filled and sincere. Her deep faith shines through all she writes. Beverley is an inspiration ~ one of those truly modest and brave souls who quietly walks her talk and never clamours for attention. I hope we can give her a warm Plum Tree welcome and give her the attention she deserves. Beverley is also the author of Feet First, which is about overcoming family abuse. You can see it HERE. Thank you Beverley for being my guest today.
I cannot boast of an exhaustive literary education for I am an untrained pet. Yet at every juncture of life I have been drawn and intrigued by matters of morality, majesty, mystery, magic of nature, magnetism in imagination and mantra of romance via poetry.
At an early age inspired by the psalms especially Psalm 139 and the love story of the Song of Solomon stirred the eloquence of encouragement and wonderment. Without question influenced by ‘once upon a time’ poetry and stories.
Many children had an imaginary friend or a favorite toy to help in difficult moments; I had poetry sitting at the feet of nature. This still holds true today at the feet of creation in one of my later poems – HERE Poetry is the air to my breathing and the aroma of life.
I love so many poets too many to list today. There have been an array, a buffet of poets of every era that have impacted me in some form.
I am not unique in the selection of poets and poetry that have settled and taken root in my heart. My fab poets are not models of exemplary lives; they were often people however quite the contrary. Some lived wretched lives and even ran to other parts of the world to escape reprisal or custody. Others endured tremendous suffering while others enjoyed great bounty.
Actually I have been smitten, challenged, educated, intrigued and inspired by the fresh poets that have either a short stay or taken residence at The Plum Tree.
I have no illusions about my abilities, but I am enriched by the mere exercise of heart to pen to paper.
It continues to amaze me of the exposure of creation, art, literature, poetry on my personhood and indelibly in my meter.
My poetry is simple and to the point with the mysterious veil lifted. I warn you; I break every English rule.
As a follower of ancient teachings my faith continues and influences my poetry. I care not of fruitless argumentative discourse. I hunger still to be the best I can be in a troubled world. I want people to hear my heart in my poetry – the beat, the sound, the smile, the turmoil, the love and tenderness, the flow and glow . I want my poetry to make you smile. The epitaph ‘she had heart’. A heart of gold. She loved.
Even now I believe all humanity is precious – the world in which we live- majestic and the universe- spectacular. In spite of trouble, I want my poetry to encourage people in the presence of the creator and know the value of every human.
Use of words- more specifically in poetry Is vital. I ask myself what is it I want to convey in my poetry.
You/I can get quite good at using words.
A love conversation. A debate. A compliment. Words of validation. Words of exploration . Words of enchantment. Angry words. To name a few.
I want to spend the rest of my life using the best words To good, To encourage, To lift the brokenhearted, To bind and heal wounds, To make amends, To explore. To expose the necessity. It takes practice -One word at a time! One poem at a time!
Poetry is therapy for me as seen in my poem One Last Look. HERE
The Splendor of Commitment and Risks taken in Love are often portrayed in poetry.
The romance between Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett is legendary. How do I love Thee? by Elizabeth is a personal declaration of love poetry to her husband, Robert Browning.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
As a youth waiting to find my soul mate; I carried a copy of this poem in my back pocket for many years until it graduated to my wallet and fell apart approx two years ago near my 58th birthday.
If you want to see one of my favorite poems written by me to my love entitled “Happy 40th Anniversary” you can see it here:
I have to mention a very special poem:
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine?—
See the mountains kiss high heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth
And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What is all this sweet work worth
If thou kiss not me?
Shelley was a key member of a close circle of visionary poets and writers that included Lord Byron; Leigh Hunt; Thomas Love Peacock; and his own second wife, Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.
He was admired by C. S. Lewis; another one of my favorite exquisite poet/writers.
Shelley became an idol of some of my favorite Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite poets such as Robert Browning and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. He was admired by Oscar Wilde, Thomas Hardy, George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell, W. B. Yeats, Karl Marx, Upton Sinclair and Isadora Duncan.
Please; I am not name dropping but I would like To capsulate some of several other poets that live within their secret chambers of my heart.
Francis of Asisi – Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace, Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Kipling – The Power of the Dog – A splendid Poem
Ralph Waldon Emerson’s Celestial Love
Canadian Poet John McCrae’s most famous Flander’s Fields
William Blake – The Tyger
Walt Whitman – I Dreamed in a Dream & Miracles
John Milton – Paradise Lost
The Serenity Prayer – the original version of Reinhold Niebuhr
T. S. Elliot – The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
John Keats – Bright Star
Emily Dickinson – Hope is the Thing with Feathers & Behind me Dips Eternity
Isaac Watts poetical hymnal poetry based on The Psalms
Martha Wadsworth Brewster – A mother’s Guidance: Acrostic for a Son & Acrostic for a daughter
All Splendid inspiration.
My youthful loves by Robert Frost. What North American high school student has not studied The Road Not Taken & A Prayer both by Robert Frost.
The influence of the topic of “Love” in the poetry of the past and the present influences my center of gratitude.
Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.
Henry Ward Beecher
Beverley Hoyles, 2013