Treasuring Poetry – Meet poet Lynda McKinney Lambert and a reviewPosted: October 16, 2021
Today, I am delighted to welcome artist and poet, Lynda McKinney Lambert, to Treasuring Poetry with her thoughts about poems and poetry,
Which of your own poems is your favorite?
I chose a poem on page 127 of my latest publication, Songs for the Pilgrimage, DLD Books, 2021. “Talisman,” is located in Part IV: Landmarks and Landscapes.
“Talisman” (This is a free-form poem)
Lynda McKinney Lambert
(written April 30, 2016)
Visualize a talisman-
precious stones and crystals
woven in bold patterns
plenty of Japanese glass seed beads
tiny drops of perfect symmetry.
I select flawless beads
stab them onto steel needles
hundreds of stitches.
thrust them one at a time
upwards into the heavens
I plunge my thin needle
deep through layers of stiff cloth
make my stitches sure
I’m a warrior woman
thumping my spirit-drum
made of dappled starlight.
I measure timeless days
counting beads in
a mystical circle
with a bronze toggle clasp.
A Talisman brings
protection from evil
healing for weary spirits
nourishment for aching bodies
courage for new directions
on a pilgrimage
over treacherous pathways
guides my dimmed eyes
and nervous steps.
Black onyx ovals
are like a vintage fan
unfurled with a flourish
or a sacred victory flag
prepared to cast an invocation.
my fingers stroke cold stones
glossy-smooth, polished, faceted.
gifts for a King.
Copyright, August 2, 2020. All rights reserved.
What inspired you to write this particular poem?
My poems are created in the same way I create a work of art.
First, the studio must be in pristine condition. I go through this cleansing activity of putting everything in its proper place, cleaning the surface of my working table, and laying out my materials.
Second, I begin to put a few things down on the paper. I may b begin with just a word that has been flashing through my mind for some time. I may begin with an idea or a color, or an object that I want to describe.
I start making a list of all of those things. I also refer to the thesaurus and the dictionary to expand my possibilities and to give me insight into the deeper meanings of words I am working with. I continue laying this all out on my list until I have quite a lot of information from which to begin the work. I like to work with at least forty words, phrases, or ideas initially.
Third, I begin selecting from my list. As I select a word, I cross it off my list after I have put it down on the page where I am building the poem.
Fourth, I continue this selection process from my pool of ideas. As I am working back and forth from the brainstorming sheet to the poetry sheet – I am deleting, moving, or adding in my process.
Since I am a person who likes to begin with chaos, I continue sifting and sorting and I am actually bringing order to the chaos.
Fifth, After I’ve laid down a considerable amount of line, I begin the process of deleting and paring it all down to the essential essence. I want my poem to become sleek and spare. I remove every article that I can in this process. I do not want any extra words. I consider them a distraction that hides the core of the poem. I am ruthless at this time in the process.
Sixth, after I’ve taken away as much as I can and exposed the essence of what I am describing, I call it finished. I will read it over many times during the process to get a feel for how it will sound when spoken. At this point it passes from an idea to a living sound. The poem is an object that stands alone. It has taken on meaning in ways I could not have imagined when I began the building process. I am satisfied.
I chose this poem for it exemplifies the parallel between writing and making mixed-media fiber art
The focus of my attention for this poem is on the making of the object that will become a talisman.
When I am writing, I am conscious of being a weaver as I move my words, sentences, and punctuation around the page. When I am making art, I am conscious of how everything fits together as I plunge my thin, sharp needle through tiny faceted beads, Czech and Swarovski crystals, circle around gemstones and capturing found objects. My needle is my paintbrush, forming the shapes and values that take me on a journey.
When I begin to write or make art, I prepare for a journey. I carefully lay out all of the things I will need for my travels. I expect to reach a destination at the time when I begin to write.
About Lynda McKinney Lambert
Lynda’s interdisciplinary interests led her to a career in teaching across disciplines in fine art and English literature. She retired from her position as a professor of fine arts and humanities at Geneva College in 2008. Retirement from her international teaching schedule opened the door for her to pursue her love of writing full-time.
Lynda works from her rural western Pennsylvania home in The Village of Wurtemburg. Her five published books are available on Amazon, Smashwords, and other retail book sellers. Lynda’s newest book of poetry and personal non-fiction essays was published in April 2021 – Songs for the Pilgrimage.
Her second chapbook, Primavera: When Spring Break is Over, is ready for publication.
She is creating a collection of poems for a chapbook for the summer season and one for the autumn season in the year ahead.
Lynda’s poems appear internationally in journals and anthologies. She lives with her husband Bob and they celebrated their 60th anniversary on April 14, 2021.
Lynda earned a BFA and MFA in Painting. She also received the MA in English degree with her focus on poetry.
Purchase Lynda’s books:
My e-books on Smashwords.com
Authors Page at DLD Books.
Learn more about Lynda
Smorgasborg Café and Bookstore – Meet the Authors_Review
Robbie Cheadle Book Review of Star Signs: New and Selected Poems.https://www.lyndalambert.com/robbie-cheadle-review-of-star-signs/
Ten Things You May Not Know About Me.
This interview is featured on Marcia Meara’s Blog, The Write Stuff. September 3, 2021.#TenThingsYouMayNotKnow – About Lynda Lambert | The Write Stuff (marciamearawrites.com)
Showcase: Songs for the Pilgrimage.
Published by Charles Portolano, editor of The Avocet: A Journal of Nature Poetry.https://www.lyndalambert.com/showcase/
NFReads – An Interview with Lynda McKinney Lambert.https://www.nfreads.com/interview-with-author-lynda-mckinney-lambert/
Poem, Photo, and Explication of the work.https://www.lyndalambert.com/autumn-gifts-poem/
My review of Songs for the Pilgrimage
What Amazon says
From the Prologue and Epilogue of Songs for the Pilgrimage
The word pilgrimage refers to a religious journey. Individuals commit to traveling to reach a predetermined destination, such as a shrine or holy place. The excursion is a trek from one location to another. Pilgrimage has been an abiding theme in my writing for several decades.
My first book, Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage (Kota Press, 2002, now out of print), was inspired by my annual journeys to Salzburg, Austria, where I taught a month–long drawing and writing course. I revised and expanded the previous collection of stories, poems, historical notes, and journal entries for this new book. Songs for the Pilgrimage features writings, drawings, and photographs I created over four decades.
I conclude with an artist’s prayer:
My studio is yours, Lord. Be my welcome guest today. Your goodness and unfailing kindness have been with me all my life. I have tried to make your glory visible in the works of art I have created. Someday I will close the door of my studio for the final time, but I will not be alone. Together, we will go to your home, where we will continue to collaborate on glorious projects throughout eternity. Amen.
May I Serve You?
Here are the stacks of paintings
for you to look at tonight.
I carefully brought them out
of storage closets
arranged them here
in the kitchen—
where my children used to play
games around a square oak table.
Once, food to nourish the body
was prepared here, by my hands.
Tonight, there is an
abundance of food
for your soul.
Come into my kitchen and
taste the world,
prepared by my hands.
Songs for the Pilgrimage is an unusual and interesting collection of poems, interspersed with journal entries from the poets annual journeys to Austria where she taught a month long drawing and writing course. The journal entries provide a lot of insight into the poet’s life and experiences during these times and dovetail with the poems which expand on these experiences by vividly depicting the sights, smells, and thoughts of the poet. The poems are mainly freestyle and cover a full spectrum of observations including interpretations of different artworks, songs, and music.
My favourite poem in this collection and the one that demonstrates the vividness of the imagery presented in these poems is called How Vivaldi Learned to Dance:
“Antonio Vivaldi heard a new beat
began to dance inside his soul
Concerto Grosso came to visit him
D-Major opened his eyes at dawn
every set of notes in the strong
gave his soul a new pair of wings
horns, oboes, 2 violins, Vivaldi cast the spell
imagination approached the heavenly realm
just as his nimble feet urged him to dance on clouds
kicking up his heels, high off the pungent streets
lively staccato andante reminded
Medieval Venetians to stroll on sunny afternoons
narrow passageways, the scent of Italian lilies floats
over cobblestone paths Vivaldi’s thoughts
pulsed cautiously into the Adagio duet
quiet staccato notes changed his rhythm
roaming violin twins began a centripetal dance
slow and steady – up, down, up, down, up
the long final chord ended his journey on
urban bridges of arched stone
violin solos of his butterfly visions soared
where playful frantic allegro takes flight
X is the unknow factor when the master musician
yearns for one more summer day in Venice
Zeitgeist. His presence spanned the Baroque ages.”
I chose to share this particular poem because I feel it represents everything I enjoyed about this book. The vivid imagery is demonstrated in may places with the depictions incorporating the senses of sight, sound, movement/touch, and smell, the references to the music show the poet’s appreciation of Vivaldi, the Italian Baroque composer, virtuoso violinist, teacher, impresario, and Roman Catholic priest and her love of all of these things, including her religion. There is a strong theme of faith and religious respect running through this book. There is also a haunting attraction for Venice and all it offers which ties in with the overarching concept of a pilgrimage.
An intriguing and enjoyable book of prose and poetry.
About Robbie Cheadle
Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with 9 children’s books and 2 poetry books.
The 7 Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.
Robbie has also published 2 books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.
Robbie has 2 adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories in the horror and paranormal genre and poems included in several anthologies.
Robbie writes a monthly series for https://writingtoberead.com called Growing Bookworms. This series discusses different topics relating to the benefits of reading to children.
Robbie has a blog, https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/ where she shares book reviews, recipes, author interviews, and poetry.
Find Robbie Cheadle
Instagram: Robbie Cheadle – Instagram
Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books
Want to be sure not to miss any of Robbie’s “Growing Bookworms” segments? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress. If you found it interesting or entertaining, please share.