Poetic Connections to the Past #SOL17

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In 1948, my grandmother Dorothea Kennedy published a book of poetry — Patchwork Dreams. As  child, I remember copies of her book piled here and there around my grandparent’s home in Portland, Maine and in the gallery on Peaks Island where she also sold her paintings. I recently read the book from cover to cover and I so regret that I never talked to her about her book and where her ideas came from. If only she were still here to share ideas, inspiration, and advice with her granddaughter, so new to the writerly life.

One poem, The Prisoner, haunts me. While the words are hers, they describe me! I don’t recall my grandmother being a terribly woodsy person — she lived on the shores of Casco Bay all her life — but I am. They are me. How can this be?

The Prisoner

My home is where the hills are

Along a woody trail,

Lined with pine and sweet fern

Known to darting quail.

 

Many voices murmur

Yet always unseen,

The chattering Woodfolk

Fill the forest green.

 

My home is where the hills are

Tangled and wild,

Imprisoned in the City

Lives a forest child.

— Dorothea Kennedy from Patchwork Dreams, 1948

This post is part of the annual month-long Slice of Life writing challenge organized by Two Writing Teachers. Join us! It’s my first time slicing, I’m a slice planner, and an early morning slicer, too!

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14 thoughts on “Poetic Connections to the Past #SOL17

  1. That is just how I would feel… What a beautiful book! When I saw the cover, it just made me smile – before even reading your post, I knew I wanted to read it.
    “Imprisoned in the City
    Lives a forest child.”
    Isn’t it a shame that so much is lost on us and to us! I have many questions for my grandparents also.
    Now I’m thinking maybe I should insert notes with some of my writing. Grandchildren won’t know, will they?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honored you visited my slice today, Jeannine. Families are complicated, aren’t they? But as with all experiences in life, we take little bits from each or acknowledge them and set them free. Love that we have artist grandmothers in common. My best to you.

      Like

  2. You have a wonderful way of knowing your grandmother through her writings. It is also a way to feel close to her at those times you feel you need to hear her voice or seek her wisdom.

    Liked by 1 person

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