POETRY PROMPT #mondayblogs #amwriting #poetry

Today’s Writers Almanac contains a fan letter from one poet to another. Coincidentally, my poetry group prompt was to write a fan letter poem, or write about a fan. So, I’m posting first the poem from Writer’s Almanac followed by the poem I wrote. Then I welcome your comments and/or your own fan letter poems if you’ve a mind to write them, or any fan letters you’ve ever wanted to write to people or things you’re a fan of. Wanna play? Let’s!


by Wendell Berry

Dear Hayden, when I read your book I was aching

in head, back, heart, and mind, and aching

with your aches added to my own, and yet for joy

I read on without stopping, made eager

by your true mastery, wit, sorrow, and joy,

each made true by the others. My reading done,

I swear I am feeling better. Here in Port Royal

I take off my hat to you up there in Munnsville

in vour great dignity of being necessary. I swear

it appears to me you’re one of the rare fellows

who may finally amount to something. What shall

I say? I greet you at the beginning of a great career?

No. I greet you at the beginning, for we are

either beginning or we are dead. And let us have

no careers, lest one day we be found dead in them.

I greet you at the beginning that you have made

authentically in your art, again and again.

“To Hayden Carruth” by Wendell Berry from New Collected Poems. © Counterpoint Press, 2012.

FAN BASE by Sandra de Helen

August 3, 2015

Dear Angela Davis, for years I fancied

myself your near twin, my having been

born exactly one week ahead of you. I

followed your career in the newspapers,

worn a button as big as my upraised

fist in support of your freedom, cut and

permed my blond hair trying to mimic

your Afro. I read your work, embraced

your politics, married a man of your

color, whom I met when I hung out with

former prisoners who called themselves

humanists. I was in college, writing a

political column, studying Economics,

being as much like you as I was able.

Unlike you, I was beat down by my

man. Defeated, shamed. It took me

years to rebuild my strong feminist

voice, even more years to embrace my

fellow man once again. But you, I have

always loved you, Ms. Angela Davis. Your

life and your words continue to inspire.