Monday, December 26, 2011

The Window to The World on Life of A Poet Week 8

Can you tell us about yourself?

I am a musician, a professor of music, a poet and artist. As my music webpage [] reads: "For more than three decades Marilynn Mair has played music across the globe, recorded over a dozen solo CDs, published two method books, written countless columns, and taught as a Professor of Music at Roger Williams University. She has dedicated herself to establishing the mandolin as an instrument of importance, for her lifetime and the future."

Before I was a mandolinist I was a poet, and in the past few years I have taken up writing again and combined it with photography to create my blog "Celebrating a Year". []

Which country do you live in now? What’s your profession? be general, no need to specify your location...

I live in the USA, although I spend a considerable amount of time each year in Brazil, as that is where my musical heart lies. In the USA I am a musician and a professor of music, specializing in music of the Americas. In Brazil I am a bandolimista.

We’re happy that you have been part of Poets Rally as a participant, what has driven you to where you are in this particular community? 

Jingle found my blog TWO years ago and invited me to join the Rally. I have participated in almost every one since. I have many online friendships developed through the Rally, and the number of people reading my poems has greatly increased.

How long have you been blogging? Do you think being part of a poetry community contributes to your creative writing?

My blog will be 3 years old on October 16th of this year. Being part of a community certainly keeps me serious and timely in my posts, especially my weekly poem, knowing that I now have subscribers and regular readers.

Why poetry? Do you write fiction too?

I'm not sure why, but I have always been a poet, since I was a child. It's just how the world makes sense to me. I love to read fiction, but I can't write it at all. I'm not good at coming up with the details that establish a location or a character's motivation.

Please share 3 to 5 blog links you enjoy reading most, give 1 or 2 sentences to tell why you love their creative process.

My favorite blogs are written by my favorite bloggers. In no special order they are:

Jamie Dedes [] I love her poetic style, the variety of her posts, and the information she has taken it upon herself to give us on the larger world of writers and writing. Her own poetry often leaves me breathless.

Charles Martin [] His long skinny poems always tell the truth-- political, personal, often with biting cynicism, sometimes with astonishing tenderness. And he writes one every day-- I count on him. His photography is fabulous too.

Sharmishtha Basu aka Trisha []. The woman thinks and feels so deeply, and her charming illustrations combined with her words show a strong and unique vision of the world. She and her works are simply lovely.

How do you know when a poem is done? your own experiences need to be shared here...

I write formal poetry, that is, poems using ancient formal structures, so there is a predetermined endpoint when I set out. For example, when I am writing a sonnet, I need 14 lines, 10 syllables to the line, with a particular rhyme scheme. I choose the form that I feel suits the subject that's on my mind from a selection of five-- sonnet, villanelle, decima, rondeau, or pantoum. Each has different challenges. When I have the form roughed out, then I go back and fine tune my word choice to make my point as clear as possible. I also try to make my work universal-- I don't complain about my personal boyfriend, but rather on aspects anyone with a bad or good or exasperating mate could identify with. Also, my poem has to be posted each week by Thursday, latest, so I can't be too fussy. Sometimes, but not often, I will continue to change w/ a poem after it is posted. Ends are harder to determine than beginnings. I had to give up free verse for that reason-- there is always more to say.

How do you decide when a poem is "good"? Do you redo your own poems after they’re posted? it could be poem someone else written...

I give that up to my readers, deciding if something is "good".. Some poems turn out better than others, like some dinners, or some concerts, or some sports competitions. But we keep writing, cooking, performing, playing. Because my blog is to celebrate every day as it happens I don't repost old work.

Do you think music and poetry are related? Why?

Naturally, as I am a musician and a poet. It has to do with rhythm and flow through time.

What issues are closed to your heart? Women’s rights, child abuses, etc.…name one…

I'm an artist, so there are many personal issues-- getting more people to hear and like the mandolin, getting Brazilian Choro more exposure in the world outside Brazil, getting my students to understand and appreciate classical music and world music more fully. Other than that it's more a matter of hoping everyone can have the freedom to be the best that they can be, without needing to fight for survival, for enough to eat, or for a safe space to freely speak.

What’s your other hobbies besides writing? Do you have pets? Give us a picture if you own a pet.

Photography, travel. No pets now, my travel precludes it.

Please list your blog links below, share 1 or 2 poems that represents best of your poetry talent…

My music page is : marilynn mair mandolin []

My writing blog is; Celebrating A Year []

Here are two recent poems of mine I especially like (there are 154 and counting):

she said when we are young we love
as we grow older it seems we’ve
forgotten how we could believe
in grace placing our heads above
our hearts the great tragedy of
wisdom oh would that I could fall
again without fear hearing all
the muses sing triumphantly
still sure that fortune will foil the
scattering winds of betrayal

Poem 2:

these ancient trees have weathered many storms
their gnarled branches speak of victories
hard won against a power that deforms
then moves on leaving wounds for memories
as I have felt the forces of despair
lashing away the roots of my substance
I ponder on these trees remaining there
to leaf out despite nature’s violence
for I find myself here against all odds
still standing looking forward in the fray
not falling to betrayal that defrauds
the promise of blue skies though miles away
fate has the power to upend truth yet
my steadfast heart holds dreams I won’t forget

Your readers can explore the different form by selecting links from the RH column on my blog.


The Poetry Palace said...

It is great to get to know you better,

Celebrating a Year.

enjoyed your company so much,
keep your gem poetry coming our way.

Happy Holidays.

Morning said...

awesome information shared.

Kay said...

Marvelous interview! I am going to your music page right now. I really like the mandolin. Sending good thoughts your way, Kay

Kay said...

Wow! Incredible talent you have my poetic friend! You make that mandolin sing. What a treat! I am honored to hear you play.