Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Life of a Poet - Sherry Blue Sky

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.” was once uttered by the famous American author Og Mandino. This week we sit down with a writer who I thought this quote was quite befitting of. Sherry Blue Sky, the poetess behind the poetry blog Stardreaming, is our guest and willing interviewee this week and she made sure it was a more than pleasurable exchange.


Sherry is one of the most active and supportive members found here at Poets United. She is quick with the praise and odds are she can be found most likely in each every one of our member’s blogs commenting somewhere. Her energy and love for life is something I can only hope to achieve a portion of on a daily basis.

We asked Sherry what was the reason behind the name of her blog to which she responded “I named my site Stardreaming because of a lifetime love affair with the daytime and night-time skies.........so much beauty and mystery, so much that is unknown, and bigger than we can begin to grasp.” Sounds like a perfect explanation to me.

Sherry lives on Vancouver Island, Canada, mid-way between the wild shores of Tofino and the tamer shores of Georgia Strait on the other side. I have to admit I’m quite jealous just thinking of it although she claims it’s too far from the beaches for her. When asked what is the wildest thing or most adventurous things she’s done, it was the very fact that she moved to this wondrous place.

“The bravest thing I ever did was to give up a hard-won good-paying job and move to Tofino, my dream for twenty years, where I had to work two and three part time jobs at a time to survive. But it was the best thing I ever did. I tell that story in my "Love Song To Clayoquot Sound

PU: What about poetry makes you want to write? Do you remember writing your first poem? If not what is earliest thing you can remember writing a poem about?
SBS: I wrote my first poem when I was fourteen. Then it was as if the floodgates had been opened and I wrote furiously for years. My writing was most inspired during those years and seemed to be coming through me, almost like automatic writing.

PU: What style of poem do you write the most? What about poetry do you find the most annoying or unreadable and why?
SBS: I don’t aim for a particular style or metre; usually when I have an idea, the poem takes on its own flow and rhythm as I write. I have the most trouble reading long epic poems and am sure I could never write one. My hat is off to those who master such a difficult form!

PU: Some say the internet has created better exposure for poets and some say it has flooded the world with too much poetry. In your opinion has the internet helped or hurt poetry?
SBS: The internet has helped enormously, in providing a forum for writers who might otherwise never be read. While I have written all my life, I have only rarely submitted anything for publication. So my readers have been family and friends. Often, I felt like I was writing into a vacuum. The feedback and sense of community and mutual appreciation I have found since discovering Poets United has really energized me. It makes me want to write more, and better poems, and I feel will inspire me to keep at it.

PU: When do you write the most? When you are happy, sad, lonely, day or night? Do you have a private place to write?
SBS: I can write a poem anywhere . Once I was walking in the forest and Hymn of Praise started coming to me. I was afraid I would forget it all by the time I got to the car and to pen and paper. Luckily, I managed to hang onto it: Hymn of Praise


PU: What poem, written by you, do you like the most and why?
SBS: My favourite poem is likely “Lover of the Sky” because it is about all of the things I love. I posted it this past Poetry Pantry. Another poem I really relate to is “In the Presence of the Sacred,” about a huge tree on Meares Island that has a lot of other trees, ferns, foliage and life forms growing on it. I related to it because I raised four kids by myself and felt rather like a tree trunk, giving them a secure place to grow until they were able to live on their own. I titled it the way I did for two reasons: in response to Jerry Mander’s In the Absence of the Sacred, about technology replacing soul in our materialistic culture, and also because standing amidst those peaceful old-growth giants, I felt aspirituality stronger than in any cathedral.



 PU: Do you have a favorite poet? If so who are they? What is your favorite poem by them?
SBS: Mary Oliver is hands down my favourite poet, because she writes so beautifully and lovingly about nature, about life, and death. Her The Leaf and the Cloud, her long poem in book form, is beautiful and brilliant. Breathtaking. I also love my friend Christine Lowther.  She is an amazing published poet living here in Tofino.  Her mother is the late Pat Lowther, a celebrated Vancouver poet in the 70's.



PU: Have you ever been published? Do you write with hopes of being published one day or is your writing just an expression or hobby for you?
SBS: The few things I submitted in recent years have been published, including an edited version of Love Song to Clayoquot Sound, which appeared in an anthology titled Writing the West Coast: In Love With Place. My favourite topic! I have a book manuscript that needs a really big editing, which I would then submit for consideration. However the editing job is daunting. It is on my To Do list for this winter!

PU: Music inspires a lot of folks as it can be and most often is poetry itself. Do you listen to music when you write? What is your favorite type of music? What artist did you last purchase music for?
SBS: I don’t often listen to music while I’m writing, but I love it and listen to it often. All kinds from classical to world to female vocalists to the old tunes of the 40’s. I last bought k.d.lang’s recollection, a retrospective of her best tunes.





PU: If you could have dinner with any famous dead person who would it be? Where and what would you eat?



SBS: If I could have dinner with any famous dead person (what a great short story this would make!) it would be a tossup between Gandhi (a bowl of rice likely!), and John Lennon, (likely something vegetarian). Gandhi would likely win.

PU: What other poets in the poetry blogosphere do you like to read or visit the most?
SBS: I am enjoying the poets I have found through Poets United, especially Susannah Bec @ Out of my Ocean and Kerry O’Connor @ Sky Lover, a South African poet who writes BEAUTIFUL poems.  I am enjoying all of the offerings on your site, and am gaining inspiration from all.

PU: Poets are often creative on many different levels, when you are not writing what other hobbies or creative things do you do? What other talents do you have?
SBS: I enjoy photography, especially of nature, and I write much more memoir and prose than I do poetry, though poetry is my first love. My blog is my creative outlet these days.

PU: Everyone has their favorites quotes they live by or repeat, mine is “He who Laughs…Lasts” ~ Mary Pettitbone Poole. What quote do you use often or live by?

"There is a larger landscape than the one we see"

SBS: I love the quote “There is a larger landscape than the one we see”, author unknown........also “there are two ways to live: one, as if nothing is a miracle, the other, as if everything is.” And: “When you come to the edge of all that you know and are about to step off into the unknown, believe one of two things is possible: either there will be ground to stand upon, or you will be given wings to fly.”


Poets United is so very grateful for the time Sherry took in allowing us to conduct this interview. Her willingness and openness is just one of her many endearing qualities and we have yet to even discuss her poetry. If you want to experience more of this wonderful individual and poetess you should really stop on over at Stardreaming. Sherry Blue Sky’s Words, photographs and nearly everything about her are guaranteed to be an inspiration for you.

There is much more to a poet than just their poetry. The folks that live behind the pen can be some of the most interesting people around. We look forward to giving our readers an intimate and personal look at some of the other poets found here at Poets United in future, so be sure to return to Poets United each week to see who we chat with next. Who knows it may be you that we talk to next.

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16 comments:

  1. Congrat's Sherry - I am so happy you were interviewed...you live on my favorite place in the world. (Vancouver Island)....your poetry reflects its beauty and I thank you for the reminder to always return there...blessings...bkm

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  2. That really is a life of a poet. This is a very interesting one at that. Thank you

    Herb Alyette

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  3. That really is a life of a poet, and an interesting one. Thank you.

    Herb Alyette

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  4. Thanks a lot Poets United and Sherry. I chanced upon Sherry's blog today (before reading this interview) following her comment on my blog and found inspiration in her poetry. When i read her, I was too wondering about some of the questions Poets United have put and i am so happy to have them all answered. It is, indeed, the greatest pleasure to read poets like her. I would like to thank Poets United for offering a platform to poets.
    Thanks, once again.

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  5. Congratulations, Sherry, on being the poet of note this week...very well deserved... your poems and photos are equally stellar! You've so clearly learned to embrace the truly important facets of life that nourish the spirit and enrich the world. You've shown us where real happiness lies.

    And thank you, Robert, for hosting this blog. Your questions and comments are insightful, and the dedication and hard work you apply to the site are appreciated beyond measure by a good number of us.

    Well done Sherry and Robert!

    Lynette

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  6. Thank you, Robb, for much more than this interview - the hours and hours I know you put in, creating this site and shepherding it along until it has become the busy centre it is. The doors of my world opened, when I found Poets United, and I am so grateful and appreciative of all of its members who have welcomed me so whole-heartedly.

    Thanks to all of you - for reading and commenting on my work. I look forward to a good solid winter of writing! Write on, all!

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  7. Sherry, I always enjoy visiting your blog! Nice to read the interview.

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  8. I really enjoyed reading Sherry's interview! I love her writing and sense in her a kindred spirit. I am so glad to have found her writing through this site.

    Thanks for bringing it all together Robb and I am honoured to have been here at the start of this great community. :-)

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  9. I add my own thanks to Sherry, for her boundless enthusiasm, always visiting my blog and introducing me to Poets United. I hope you will continue to find inspiration, write about it and share it with us all.

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  10. Thank you, you wonderful and kind fellow poets! I hadnt written much poetry in the last while, as I had no support or encouragement for my writing here. Thanks to you, the poems are coming again. They are creaky and lack flow, it will take some time to regain flow. But they are coming, and for that I thank each and every one of you:)

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  11. Sherry, this was wonderful! I am so happy to learn more about you and your magic gift! Mary Oliver is my fav; What a wonderful group you have found! I look forward to more of your paintings with words!

    Robb-You have built a wonderful gathering of creative souls! I will
    visit again~

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  12. Sherry you are just such an amazing poet and your interview has been such a blessing to read. I am so glad you are here at Poets United sharing your beautiful poems with us. Look forward to many more! :-)

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  13. It is nice to know you...
    love your work.
    keep it up!
    ;)

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  14. SBS - great interview. SBS does a great job with PU. Thanks for all the encouragement!

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