Sometimes on summer afternoons my thoughts turn to poetry. Although I see myself as a writer of mostly fiction and a bit of nonfiction, reading poems gives me insights into linguistic effects possible in fiction. This morning I reread Mary Oliver’s wonderful poetry collection: American Primitive and all afternoon I hear her words as music – almost as a new language – when I look about me at the ordinary things of a summer day. For example, her short poem, The Roses is running though my head as I look at the ravages of summer heat and Japanese beetles on my roses.
Even ruins have a particular beauty. Here is the poem.
One day in summer
has already been more than enough
the wild beds start
exploding open along the berm
of the sea; day after day
the honey keeps on coming
in the red cups and the bees
like amber drops roll
in the petals: there is no end,
believe me! to the inventions of summer,
to the happiness your body
is willing to bear.
Writing Days often benefit from Reading Days. This seems especially true on days when I must deconstruct and revise a new piece of work in the second or third draft stages.
About Jan Bowman
Winner of the 2011 Roanoke Review Fiction Award, Jan’s stories have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, Best American Short Stories, and a Pen/O’Henry award. Glimmer Train named a recent story as Honorable Mention in the November 2012 Short Story Awards for New Writers.
A recent story was a finalist for the 2013 Broad River Review RASH Award for Fiction, another story was a 2013 finalist in the Phoebe Fiction Contest; another was a 2012 finalist in the “So To Speak” Fiction Contest. Jan’s fiction has appeared in numerous publications including, Roanoke Review, Big Muddy, The Broadkill Review, Third Wednesday, Minimus, Buffalo Spree (97), Folio, The Potomac Review, Musings, Potato Eyes and others. She is working on two collections of short stories while shopping for a publisher for a completed story collection, Mermaids & Other Stories. She has nonfiction publications in Atticus Review, Trajectory and Pen-in-Hand. She writes a weekly blog of “Reflections” on the writing life and posts regular interviews with writers and publishers. Learn more at: www.janbowmanwriter.com (note: homepage under revision right now) so visit blog: http://janbowmanwriter.blogspot.com