The Letter Project

July 13, 2011

Special Delivery (87)

Filed under: Letters — Theresa Williams @ 7:16 pm
Tags: , , ,

Suzy Anderson writes to Melanie Tokar to talk about literature and the seasons.  –TW

July 7, 2011

Dear Melanie,

I was so excited when I got your letter in the mail Saturday! My parents and younger two siblings were visiting last weekend, so Mom walked with me to the mailbox. We went to Finders and I found a copy of “Interview with the Vampire.” I am so happy to watch it again! I did get a job at Meijer—yay! I’m still in training so I haven’t officially started yet. It’ll be nice to have a paycheck coming in.  

I completely understand “…I believe the written word carries the author’s energy…” and I hope that my letters give you energy! It was my pleasure to share a part of my childhood with you. It wasn’t til I wrote the letter that I realized how much fantasy and science fiction impacted my writing. Probably explains why magic realism seemed easier (in spring semester 2009) to write than reality. That is not the case now, at least not as much. I’m glad BGSU has helped us both take adventures; I know I didn’t really take spontaneous trips til I gravitated to shops downtown like Grounds and Happy Badger on a whim. It is totally worth it when it’s only a little walk and a chance to get away from college life. I can’t wait to read “Thunder Struck” and hear what you think of “The Point of Poetry.”

The Bridal Veil Falls sounds lovely! I’m glad you have a place to go where you can remember your Dad. Hopefully you’ll be able to hear his voice again, maybe sometime this summer. I love that you hear “…all is right with the world.” We need those moments to live through times when the world isn’t a nice place.  

Summer rain is magical, and the only other weather as magical in my opinion is snow in winter (the soft kind that falls gently). Spring and fall have a different magic celebrating new life and death. But the chapter “August” in Bruno Schulz’s “The Street of Crocodiles” describes the magic of summer in such a way that I could imagine summer even though I am surrounded by the season. For an example of his description of summer: “The dark second-floor apartment of the house in Market Square was shot through each day by the naked heat of summer: the silence of the shimmering streaks of air, the squares of brightness dreaming their intense dreams on the floor; the sound of a barrel organ rising from the deepest golden vein of day; two or three bars of a chorus, played on a distant piano over and over again, melting in the sun on the white pavement, lost in the fire of high noon” (Schulz 3).

Seasons have always seemed to play a part in art. The season gives clues to the characters’ surroundings and the time of year in stories. Naturally the seasons give the cycle of birth and death. Each season is different but plays a necessary role in nature’s process.  

I think every artist has to approach the seasons in some way. It’s like every poet needs to write at least one love poem, or a villanelle, or a sonnet in Shakespearean style. Experimenting with these different forms and styles of poets who influenced poetry helps the poet understand the history of poetry and interact with it in some way. In a sense, make the old new with a fresh perspective. I know for myself I wrote mostly free verse before I took the first poetry workshop at BGSU. The restraints of forms helped me push beyond and find lines that speak truths in a new way. It wasn’t what I normally wrote, so I was interacting with the history of poetry to find my own style. Now it’s hard for me to write without form. Usually I start with a short poem, revise until I don’t know what to do with it, translate it into a form, and then cut from there to find the poem the way it was meant to be. I have Larissa to thank for that process when we worked on short poems last semester. Thanks to Sharona for giving form prompts for workshop last fall. Now it seems I write nothing but short poems.

One reason we study different time periods is to understand how authors and poets shaped the writing and reading world with their work. Without studying them, we couldn’t build on their foundations and reach new heights. So even though I don’t want to write only about the seasons, I’ll write (and have written) a couple of poems to donate my seasonal perspective to readers.  

Here’s one of my summer poems.

“Summer Bike Rides”


Absorb the sun and draw it

to your breast where it will

lay inside your heart to bring

sunshine that drips from pores.  



P.S. My favorite season is fall, mostly because it’s when my birthday falls (sorry, I love puns, even the ones I write accidentally such as that one), but also because I love vibrant colors, mostly orange (and brown), our school colors. But there’s something about death that strikes me because there’s a hope that life will return in the spring. What’s your favorite season and why?

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