Welcome to Day 30 of my 30-Day Poetry Challenge!
Well, here we are, the end of April, the end of this poetry challenge! Wow, it has been a ton of fun, a lot of work, and extremely meaningful to connect with people and give away books. I’ve learned a lot in the process.
Thank you SO MUCH, readers and commenters and sharers of my work! I am humbled and honored by your part in all this, yes, even if you read in silence, just a few poems. I am still thinking about what’s next for me going forward, and definitely want to continue posting here, poems or observations. Stay tuned! I have a lot of ideas…
Congratulations, Brenna, for winning a free copy of my poetry book! Brenna, please email me your address so I can send your prize: firstname.lastname@example.org
I will do one more book raffle tomorrow, so don’t forget to comment. I will contact the winner by email.
Thanks again for reading! Now for today’s poem.
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On a whim, I became fascinated by looking up artists and writers who were late-bloomers. The NaPoWriMo prompt for today was to write a poem that “engages with a strange and fascinating fact,” so maybe that’s what got me going. In any event, it seemed like a fitting end to the 30-day Poem Challenge. Which I just noticed, ends with begin!
Not Too Late
* * *
Toni Morrison and George Eliot published their first novels at 40.
Grandma Moses became an artist in her late 70s and painted for over 20 years.
Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t write until she became a columnist at 44. She wrote “Little House in the Big Woods” when she was 64.
After teaching for 30 years, Frank McCourt wrote and published “Angela’s Ashes” when he was 67 years old. It won a Pulitzer Prize.
Painter Paul Cezanne didn’t have artistic and professional success until his 50s and 60s.
Bill Traylor didn’t start drawing until he was 85 years old and homeless. He created over 1000 works of art.
At age 68, Mary Delany started making intricate paper cutouts of plants and flowers to help her cope with loss. These cutouts are now part of the British Museum’s collection. She created over 1,700 pieces of art, working until age 88.
James Michener wrote 40 books after the age of 40.
Anna Sewell started writing “Black Beauty,” her only published work, when she was 51. She died at age 57, shortly after it was published.
* * *
I tell you this
I tell me this
because I need this to sink in:
It’s okay, it’s never too late to start
(or start again, and again)
while you are alive.
The pen waits, the brush waits, the notes wait, the
blank paper/screen/canvas/space waits
for you to begin
in the smallest steps forward.
Forget regrets, recriminations, ruminations.
All of it has brought you here, to today
which is the perfect day to start,
imperfectly, rusty, slowly, unsure.
Don’t think, just start
See how many have gone before you,
paving the way?
Honestly, truly, most sincerely,
it’s okay to let that tight curled bud
of hope unfurl.
Guard it tenderly,
pick up the pen,
* * * * * * * * * * *
- I’m writing and posting a new poem every day through the month of April (yikes!), for better or worse.
- AND, as a gift, I’m giving away a copy of my poetry book EVERY DAY this month. FREE!
- Sign up to WIN a copy of (After) Confession by just leaving a comment beneath the poem of the day.
- I will pick a winner every day in April! So comment every day for a new chance to win.
This month’s posts are part of the NaPoWriMo challenge — that’s National Poetry Writing Month. At NaPoWriMo.net, you’ll find links to other participating writers and their poetry. AND daily writing prompts for inspiration to write your own poems. Check them out.
I’m so looking forward to your comments– it doesn’t have to be about the poem. Write anything, share the name of your favorite poet or poem, write about the weather, whatever! And thanks for reading.
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Photo credit: Thought-Catalog-217, and Eddy Klaus, courtesy of Unsplash.com