Featured Poet: Linda Dyer, Amherst
Linda Dyer writes both poetry and prose. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a major in English and a minor in Art History, both of which are reflected in her work. Relocation from Michigan to upstate New York, then Connecticut and finally New Hampshire has made its mark on her work as well. Her entry into publication began with newspapers, both as a regular contributor to magazine supplements of Acorn Press and with work in the New York Times, Hartford Courant and Christian Science Monitor as well. Her poetry has appeared in many literary journals, including Poet Lore, Slant, Birmingham Poetry Review, Soundings East, Entelechy International, The Aurorean, Common Ground Review and Bloodroot as well as in anthologies such as Heartbeat of New England, Tale Feathers and The Blueline Anthology. Her work has also appeared online in journals such as Brevity and Poet’s Canvas. She is currently a poetry editor for Amoskeag, the literary journal of Southern New Hampshire University.
Provenance of the following poem: Like most people reading a newspaper, I zero in on what interests me and skip the rest. Articles on art always catch my eye. In this case I happened on a profile about an artist from Thailand in the New York Times. In reading about her, it occurred to me that her approach to art is one that all those involved in the creative arts should emulate.
Sao took up painting after she was pink-slipped
by the Thai timber company. Her time
no longer spent in hauling logs through forests,
she wiles away her days with brush
and canvas, slapping languid strokes of russet
across the taut stretched fabric, mixing in
a gentle curve or two of olive green
with now and then a splash of citron.
It matters not to her that her counterpart
in Phoenix pulls in a hundred grand a year
for her abstract expressions. Sao merely does
what she does and what she feels.
Let others detect the influence of her island youth
on Phuket, the style of her brushstrokes
so much like Gauguin. She is too thick-skinned
to be troubled by the critics.
She just paints and paints, unmindful
of the high-toned art historian’s proclamation
that her art exhibits a maturity and depth unrivaled
by any of the other elephants who paint.
Originally published in
Birmingham Poetry Review
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