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Toward a Peeping Sunrise by Carole Mertz
Toward a Peeping Sunrise follows an arc: it wakes (with its somewhat surreal opening), gathers momentum at “Dolly’s Broke” and “Ballast,” then mellows into the final two rhymed poems, the only two written in rhyme. “That this Blue Exists…” is a puzzle formed by the piecing together of titles of 14 authors’ works. This poem won the August 2017 Wilda Morris Poetry Challenge. Carole created the ‘Title Poem’ while reading Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread. Other authors came to mind as she worked through the “title” challenge, shaping the words into a narrative.
Living amidst the bustle of NYC, following her college graduation, Carole dated a college classmate who took her to dinner at the Zukofsky’s. In awe of the author, but totally unaware of his prestige and his translations of the Latin poets, she sat dumb-mouthed throughout the dinner. Years later, she recalled the evening, eventually connecting Catullus with Zukofsky’s translations and recalling the dark blue and white drapes in the dining room. (And probably wishing to be home in her mother’s comfortable kitchen with her cheerful pink and green floral curtains.)
Carole frequently walks with her husband on the trails at the nearby nature conservancy in her community. The reflective tones and orange colors of the autumn season led to the composition of “The Mellow Season.” The poem was accepted immediately upon submission to The Society of Classical Poets for publication one year hence. At its publication, more than twenty fellow writers contributed their comments at the site. Poet Joseph S. Salemi, editor and owner of Trinacria, called these autumn verses “a perfectly chiseled and polished poem.” He also said, “I love both the perfect metrics and the elegant diction.” The poem was selected for inclusion in the Society’s 2019 print anthology, Journal VII. Poet Amy Foreman called the poem “The perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of tea on this drizzly fall morning!” (These comments are archived at the site at October 14, 2018)
Regarding “At the Luncheon Party,” writing ekphrastic descriptions is a current interest. Carole visited museum after museum and cathedral after cathedral as she traveled through France, Austria, and Italy during her student days. She enjoyed meeting significant paintings firsthand. Van Gogh and Renoir were favorites. Later she saw the Renoir at the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Carole is sister to two visual artists. Their work adds to her love of contemporary works and of the classical artists of the 19th and 20th centuries.
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