New VRB materials are up on the “6/2020” page. (Just click on the top menu & you’re there.) Most POSTS (below) are skippable–or can be skimmed for VRB material. Apologies for where my words get in the way. Reading her work & feeling the person, my enthusiasm often spills over into comments & background, neither necessary for appreciation of the work.
The top menu speaks for itself, with some pages clearly works-in-progress. (Let us know if you’ve got special interests.) The first aim is to share more of her work with loved ones & friends, none of whom are yet aware of its full range (even Yours Crudely). Beyond that, I hope the work makes new friends, who may love & admire it as we do.
I’m not sure there’s a name for Virginia’s kind of artist-poet-teacher. Music, dance, and all the sciences were part of her repertoire, each adding to relationships. She never called herself an artist, a musician, or even a poet, just went on making art, music &, especially, poetry as part of life through it all–quietly, often for particular people, often just tucked away.
A few close friends more publicly identified as poets knew her gifts, but those still living are only now coming to realize their fuller extent, range & volume. Even she wouldn’t have realized, not thinking in terms of “a body of work,” any more than she thought of making a name fir herself. The work played through, emerging from the life experienced, not thinking of a resume.
She didn’t leave a neatly tied little bundle of life’s work like Emily Dickinson, for example. She did leave bundles, however, in folders, boxes, drawers, little notebooks, scribbles on pads, and certain special collections in a few sketch books. A number of finished groups are done in her own hand, with drawings, sometimes found copied from originals made for particular people. Other are messier, some finished except for a clear hand; some showing up more fragmented in folders labelled “in progress…” or “to work on…”
Just as each of her short ‘snap-poems’ are distinct moments, each of the longer pieces is its own adventure–an exploration of experience, from senses & the doors of perception to mysteries of heart, form & music. A natural scientist, her work draws from where observation, relationship & experiment meet.
She didn’t talk about things like poetry, least of all her own; she simply practiced its essence, including experiments played out on the edge of the possible, as if to test just what could be done in words in motion through lines (as in All Downhill from here, for example).
She took each poem–hers or anyone else’s–just as she approached each person, as a genuine original. When her poems are put together, the power of her own uniquely quiet & reflective voice starts to become ever more evident.
Individual pieces are going up, therefore, with an added excitement from the sense of a larger discovery-in-progress, one only becoming clear cumulatively. It may take more complete transcription & uploading, plus entirely re-considered organization of the materials, for the impact the work-as-a-whole deserves.
Even so, the first steps include finding, transcribing & uploading. As with any walk in beauty, the spirit of the whole emerges step by step, through the particulars….
[Though not listed under Recent Posts, “Hello, friends” & “Forever young,” the two earliest, can be found at the bottom of the Post-page scroll, or by clicking July 2019 & Sept. 2019, respectively, under Archives. –June 15, 2020]