My goodness, what can 25 years do for a poetry collection? Quite a lot.
Should the sky not fall in, come March 31, 2020, my book of poems When Eve Walked shall be released as print and ebook in all good online bookstores.
A poetry collection is like a bottle of wine that develops greater depth with time. Ever evolving. Well, it’s time to share the wine with friends.
Of course, everyone will have their own enjoyment of it. Some may develop a hangover. Others will journey and perhaps, others still, will be transformed.
The story of Eve
When Eve Walked is written from the perspective of a young woman named Eve. I am Eve. You are Eve. Every woman is Eve. Men are referred to in the collection. They are the stars to Eve’s moon. Or the thorn in her finger.
My first notable poem won me a prize at the age of eight. It was a family meal out at a seafood restaurant in town – which was kind of a big deal. It was the 80s!
Then, some 25 years ago, in my very late teens/early 20s, I wrote a lot of poetry at night. I lived with my sister though she often worked away and so I remember it as me sitting at the dining table alone penning into the wee hours.
I ‘should have’ been studying or sleeping but what I loved to do most was write. It was something that took me over.
I was a politics student and I always thought about the big things. Why? Because I felt deeply and I was dissatisfied. I found it difficult to be in the world. So I wrote to move the intensity of my feelings along.
Better out than in. There were tears. There was meaning. I saw beauty. I saw ugliness. I hoped.
And in the night, in the midst of my creativity, I developed a clarity of being – of mind, heart, and spirit. I met a better version of myself; my truer self. Warts and all yet seeped in magic. And the words flowed out like nectar. They nourished me.
Following university, I wrote a fiction (unpublished) which I called Journey of the Ants. It was a goddess romp with Persephone as the heroine.
I thought it was a masterpiece – but it wasn’t. I knew little about book structure. It read like a meandering poem … and on it went.
I then travelled to America to visit friends with a suitcase full of manuscripts hoping someone might see the magic and publish it. I was wrong.
On that trip, I wrote more poems in Chicago, New York City and back in Australia, which evolved into my second (unpublished) book of poetry called Silver Shoes.
During this time I was going through a lot of change. In my womanhood. In my psyche. In my creativity. In my spirituality. My eyes grew wide. It was an adventure and through it all, I wrote poetry.
Notably, it was a time when I had many spiritually transformative experiences which I speak about in-depth in my book Where The Light Lives (out now). These kinds of experiences accelerated my creative expression.
When Eve Walked brings together all of this. And what’s interesting (to me at least) is that I have finally created the collection in my mid-life. When I am a mother of two boys. When I am no longer the seeker because I have found. Rather, I’ve been looking back on myself.
In bringing the collection together I looked for a common thread and what I discovered in the poems was a young woman searching for herself; seeking love, acceptance, and relevance.
And finding herself amidst the questioning, introversion, and inner-turbulence. Allowing herself to be in it all. Moving through it. Then, finally, loving herself.
Eve is enough. I am enough. You are enough. She is enough. That is the book’s conclusion. Eve starts off as a voyeur of life. And then she becomes present in her life. This is where the magic is.
There are 72 poems in total (there were more but I culled) which are divided into three parts – Hidden, Rising and Risen – 24 poems in each. These denote Eve’s personal transformation.
The poems have remained in their original form with a few exceptions. Some I have reworked a little. I have fussed over punctuation, spaces, and line breaks a lot. It has been a grand effort.
There are many ways a poem can be said, conveyed or implied but ultimately it is you, the reader, who feels and decides. The poem does you and you do it.