For the past week, I’ve been typing at my father’s computer in Hawaii.
Before I left Virginia, he assured me I could use his computer whenever I needed to. And ever since I started blogging last month, he’s definitely been my biggest fan.
My dad is the only person on the planet who faithfully reads my blog every day. He is also the only 92-year-old I know who regularly surfs the internet, washes the dishes, does the laundry, vacuums, and sometimes flies across the continental U.S. to visit his daughter.
My mother says I inherited the writing gene from my father. He has always been a great communicator, with beautiful penmanship that never gets messy at the end of a letter. My mother also says that my father and I are exactly alike, meaning, we are grumpy, tempermental and worry too much. What she really means is that we are sensitive and musical, thrive on beauty, and love words above all else :)!
When I came across today’s poem, “The Writer,” by Richard Wilbur, I thought about how my father may be the only person in my life who might truly “get it” about writers — the need to be heard and understood, the patience and tenacity it takes to keep going despite rejection and loneliness, the small “deaths” writers experience whenever they have opened their veins and bled out their heart and guts for a story.
I would like to think that he has known this about me from when I was little. Wilbur’s poem has given me a glimpse into my dad’s point of view.
Today I dedicate “The Writer,” by Richard Wilbur, to James Kim. Thanks for a lifetime of support, and for letting me use your computer.
by Richard Wilbur
In her room at the prow of the house
Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,
My daughter is writing a story.
I pause in the stairwell, hearing
From her shut door a commotion of typewriter keys
like a chain hauled over a gunwale.
Young as she is, the stuff
Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy:
I wish her a lucky passage.
But now it is she who pauses,
As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.
A stillness greatens, in which
The whole house seems to be thinking,
And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor
Of strokes, and again is silent.
Today’s Poetry Friday Roundup is at AmoXcalli.