Write Again … Such a rare gift

Published 8:44 pm Friday, April 20, 2018

It is with almost inexpressible gratitude that I have the gift of loving poetry that has so enriched almost all of my days.

Those who were bequeathed the talents needed to be good poets are truly special.

My Incomparable First Wife’s grandmother, Nellie Miles Paul, was such a special person, had such a special — and rare — gift. She painted with words, and in so doing touched the emotions of her readers in many different ways.

A native and lifelong resident of her beloved Little Washington, Nellie Miles Paul wrote over 280 poems and a number of travel stories during her lifetime. She did so simply because she could, and not for any remunerative gain.

Her oldest grandchild, Paul Credle, some time ago embarked upon the task of collecting and putting into book form his grandmother’s poems.

First, he put together a collection of her poems about her family. He did this, primarily, just for the family.

And then, he moved on to the larger task, which has resulted in two separate volumes of her work, some of which compares quite favorably with any of the “masters” who achieved fame as American poets. Hyperbole this is not.

In a piece written about her by a newspaper journalist in 1958, less than a year before she died, the writer wrote, “One of the rarest specimens in the human race is the creative writer who turns out beautiful material but does not try to sell it …”

To appreciate the gift this lady possessed, one would/should read all of her poetry. Or at least a sampling. But the more you read her works, the greater grows your appreciation of such a rare talent.

Enough preamble. Let me leave you with just one poem, a short one, because there are space constraints upon my weekly in-print meanderings.

It’s titled “Souvenirs.”

“A withered rose, a yellowed glove/ Sweet relics of a Spring-time love; A calendar with red-marked days, a broken record one plays/

“That holds embalmed a haunting tune, A kiss — a vow — a night in June/ Now lost beneath a mist of tears With other dreams of yesteryears;

“A tiny dress, a broken toy, The picture of a little boy/ A sheet of music, torn and marred, a childish, scribbled Christmas card/

“A few old letters, ribbon-tied, Far dearer than all else beside/ A faded curl, a baby shoe — Just trash to ev’ry one but you!”

— Nellie Miles Paul

Nov. 16, 1889 – Jan. 9, 1959