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April is Poetry Month.

We caught up with the lovely Elaine Mc Dermott as she shared some thoughts on what inspires her. She shares when she began her love affair with poetry and her favorite poem she has written.

  • When did you start writing poetry, at what age were you?

I began writing poetry when I was a teenager in high school.

  • What made you choose poetry as your means of expression?

Poetry is concise and concrete. Every word counts.

It has a rhythm that is lacking in prose

  • Was it challenging being a woman poet?

Being a woman poet was never a challenge.

There are great men and women poets

  • What inspires you to write?

I am inspired by the beauty of nature and by the daily struggles of all humanity.

  • Do you think it's important for everyone to find some type of creative outlet and if so why?

I believe everyone is creative in his/her own way. Creativity is an outpouring of emotions and at the same time a means of self-discovery.

  • Do you have a favorite poem of someone else's and do you have a favorite poem that you have written?

My favorite poem is Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas. My favorite poem that I have written is Kumquats in Winter.

  • If you could tell someone one thing to remember in their life what would it be?

I would say to someone, remember your roots because that is what defines you. Always be yourself.

Kumquats in Winter

Traveling through scattered towns

ending again at a churchyard

in Monticello, I grew weary

watching spotted cows fold

into russet mounds, and I curse

the steel-grey clouds.

As I pass the old dairy farm,

the sagging loft of the oaken

barn staggers beneath metallic

shadows of a silver water tower.

I remember

when we buried Daddy

on the land that the drought

had seared to sand. You

rode beside me and spoke

of a kinder God.

Trailing the autumn wind,

the wetwood scent

of promised rain blends

with freshly-baled hay, stirring

memories of green peanuts,

of rain frogs and cricket songs,

of golden syrup in copper pans,

of strawberries in spring,

and kumquats in winter.

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