Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A note from the Young Crones Club

Image via http://mahan.wonkwang.ac.kr/
Rare: an image of a medieval woman artist at work.
The glorious thing about being in the Young Crones Club is that suddenly you know well people of all ages. Of course, everybody knows about the down sides (like an over-cut diamond, growing older has many sides. I also think knowing a lot of people of many ages comes from living in a village setting, where the ages are not separated out and compartmentalized, as they often are in a city.)

It's a curious time of life, the time of the Young Crone, when children are struggling to fly outside or inside the nest, when parents are growing old and sometimes dying, when duties and requests for volunteer work increase madly when it seems they ought to lessen, and when the plain fact of growing older tells the writer (this one) to hurry up and finish all those almost-finished things strewn around the writing room. And then what? To dream of beginning a new work, death-defying and magnificent... Because every writer of any potency has the dream burning in the brain.

"Now let us sport us while we may; / And now, like am'rous birds of prey, / Rather at once our time devour." Words are sexy, fecund, powerful, and joyful: so Marvell sported in words with his would-be lover, the famous Coy Mistress, and made of desire that flies a kind of monument. And so we readers and writers may aspire to sport and rejoice through words--losing and finding ourselves in a more intense life.

P. S. Just peeked to see if I had written about the Young Crones Club before--and yes, I have (yes, the mind must be going!) And stumbled on this while I was at it: Joy in Poetry.

P. P. S. Thanks to Jenny B for including A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage, The Throne of Psyche, and The Book of Ystwyth: six poets on the art of Clive Hicks-Jenkins on her list of recommended summer reads. Also included are books and chapbook by real life and e-life friends Dale Favier (never met but want to meet!), Robbi Nester (met in college), and Fiona Robyn (met in Wales in 2010.) And, of course, I can't leave out the poets in The Book of Ystwyth; I've been lucky enough to meet Dave Bonta, Damian Walford Davies, Callum James, and Andrea Selch in Wales, and I often feel that I know Clive's friend, the late Catriona Urquhart. It's a beautiful book, packed with Clive's images and well worth owning.

10 comments:

  1. So true about small town/village life. We knew everyone and visited everyone, no matter their age. Great post and poetry.

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    1. Oh, thanks very much, Ms. Melinda Jane!

      This morning my husband and I were talking about how life in a city can feel very provincial and not at all diverse because similar ages often group together and don't interact in the way they do in a small place.

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  2. Thanks Marly! And soon you will have another book of mine to add to the reading list! My collection, A Likely Story, will be released in July by Moon Tide Press with a gorgeous cover by Mary Bullington!
    People can order a copy at Amazon or at the publisher, www.moontidepress.com, I think.

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    1. Very good! Feel free to use Lady Word of Mouth.

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  3. Off-topic but necessary (re: D. G. Myers update)
    http://beyondeastrod.blogspot.com/2014/06/please-read-because-this-is-perhaps.html

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    1. Yes, good thing to post--add the Image blog essay?

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  4. Another advantage (perhaps): we young crones are at the top of the hill--all we need do is turn a bit and we can look down both sides.

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    1. Well, I'm afraid that I may have started down the other side, unless I live to be older than my oldest relative--and that might not be a good idea... But the view is still good.

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  5. PS: I like the fact that the effigy the woman is carving above has exactly her nose.

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    1. Yes, I like to think it is a self-portrait.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.