Wrapped Up in Life with Omniscient Eyes- 10th Anniversary Edition
I first published Wrapped Up in Life with Omniscient Eyes in April of 2011. The collection consisted of poems that I wrote between twelve and forty (most notable Blackberry Beauty, which I wrote at age 12). During this time, I had little formal training in poetry; in fact, the only training I had was with Tina Chang for a 6-week poetry workshop called Flesh and The Spirit at The Poet’s House in 2005. I created several poems, Meditation, Fatherless Children, Possessions, and Our Last Night (In memory of my sister Alberta) in this workshop. The poetic form I used was Free form except for Fatherless Children, a Sestina, and Our Last Night (In memory of my sister Alberta), which was written originally in letter form (epistolary) reworked as a Free form poem for the first edition of Wrapped. Also, we used the Leap, a literary device, which is found in the poem Meditation. Overall, I learned quite a lot about the art of poetry writing from this workshop.
However, after Wrapped Up in Life with Omniscient Eyes' initial publication, I took two more poetry workshops: Master Haiku Poetry with Sonia Sanchez, and recently, Japanese Poetry History and Form from Local Gem Press. Each was very informative and enlightened me of what I thought I knew what a Haiku was. In the first edition of Wrapped Up in Life, I included three poems: Haiku #1, Haiku #2, and Haiku #3. But they were not Haiku because they didn’t fit into the standard Haiku structure. So, I changed the title of these poems in this 10th Anniversary edition. Their names are Sitting in the pews…(Haiku #1), For Shana and James Ian (Haiku #2), and Hangin’ with friends… (Haiku #3). Also, in this edition, I have restored Our Last Night (In memory of my sister Alberta) to its original form of an epistolary prose poem; and added an additional poem, Albert Green Blues (A Eulogy), a poem that I was asked to write from my dear friend Apryl ( the poem Apryl’s Song is also included in this edition as well as the original). I consider Apryl a sister and, therefore, Albert, a brother. I was honored and nervous because this was the first time I was asked to write a eulogy.
One thing about writers, we are constantly evolving in our journey. While writing this note, I read over my writing portfolio that I had to compile for the end of the Flesh and The Spirit Workshop. Not only did my writing portfolio consisted of the drafted poems and their revised counterparts but my final comment about the workshop:
The composition of this poetry portfolio has given me great insight into how writing poetry does not stop after one signs off on it. The process continues when you see the steps of progression to the final destination. It also shows my growth and potential as a poet/writer.
This was true then, and it is now.
After ten years, some life changes have occurred that have pushed more poems into my memory box. Of course, my daughters have grown into teenagers, so To My Daughters is more reminiscent of their infant/toddler years, and seven months after publication of Wrapped Up in Life in 2011, my mother passed away. The Woman with Coils (the poem dedicated to my mother) will always be an image that will always be with me.