“The art of writing is the art of discovering.” Of course we need a quote from Gustave Flaubert for this interview! Yes, we are sitting down this week with Pamela, who writes under the pen name Flaubert, at Poetry With Me.
When someone who loves poetry sees the name Flaubert in Comments, or on the blogroll of poets, one simply has to click their way over to her site, already anticipating good poetry, and Pamela does not disappoint. Flaubert has another quote, which certainly applies in this case: “Everything one invents is true, you may be perfectly sure of that. Poetry is as precise as geometry.” Reading Pamela’s poetry, many words come to mind: precise, concise, evocative......her work is filled with imagery and emotion and imagination, in fact vision may be the word I’m reaching for.
One of the wonderful things about Poets United is having the opportunity to meet, connect with, read and share work with the many talented and wonderful folk in this community. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to find out more about this very interesting and talented writer.
Pamela is a dream to interview, interesting, forthcoming and prompt with responses. She is also an artist, passionate about drawing and painting. If you want to take a fascinating trip, click your way through Pamela’s archive – there be treasures in there!
Pamela: My blog’s name is ‘Poetry with me.’ I chose that name because I wanted a blog where people would feel free to share their ideas and writing, and we could make a connection. So far I have met some wonderful poets, and some very nice people.
PU: Tell us a little about yourself, your name, where you live, what your life is like.
Pamela: I am an English teacher, have been one for almost nine years now. I recently started translation work for an American company, and it is a great job. My name is Pamela Sayers – not Flaubert. That ended up being my pen name because of my French Maltese dog, Flaubert, who happens to be the best dog in the world. (Well, in my opinion, that is). My family and I live in Peubla, Mexico, a very cosmopolitan city about a two hour drive from the capital of Mexico. I love the Mexican culture on many levels. I especially love the fact that Mexicans are so family- and friend-oriented. I love the ocean, but right now I live inland. Someday I hope to move the coast (if I can convince my husband). I love my family, which consists of my daughter, my husband, our four dogs, a cat and a bird. Overall, I am fairly content with my life. I can’t complain (I’ll leave that to someone else)
PU: What is it about poetry that makes you want to write? Can you remember writing your first poem?
I write because I feel the need to express my feelings, and the written word can express them so beautifully. I wrote my first poem in high school, and I remember very little of it, except it was filled with clichés, referencing something about a bird in a gilded cage. I had a ‘Nothing’ book and filled every page with my thoughts. A few years later, I was talking to a co-worker who played guitar, and he offered to buy my book of poems. So I sold it for a hundred dollars and never gave it much thought. I tinkered a bit with writing over the years, but I got really inspired about two years ago. So just last year I set up my blog and joined a poetry site that shut down in May. But that opened up so many other avenues.
Some of the members from that site have started their own poetry sites, and they have prompts throughout the week which I try to participate in on a regular basis.
PU: What style of poem do you write most often? Are there any styles of poetry you find difficult or annoying, and why?
PU: Do you write the most when you are happy, sad, lonely? Day or night? Do you have a private place to write?
Pamela: I write when I am happy, sad, lonely, angry, anyplace, any time....but I am most comfortable in my home, away from the outside world.
PU: What poem, written by you, do you like the most, and why?
Pamela: Oh, my, that would be a very old poem I wrote two years ago named ‘colors’.
They float around me
They are the colors of life
The blues, the greens, the yellows … they make me feel alive
The reds, the oranges, the purple … they make me feel alive
They are all around us, for us to touch
We can reach for the colors
We should live the colors while we still can
Breathe the colors that let you feel
And feeling colors is all I know
It’s my favourite because it just flowed with such ease...as if the words had been there all my life, waiting to be written. I think I mostly like the purity of it. Now when I write there are so many words swimming around, along with form, spacing, etc...though I thoroughly enjoy writing, it is a bit different now.
PU: Do you have a favourite poet? What is your favourite poem by that author?
Pamela: That would have to be Charles Bukowski. I love his honesty on life matters. My favourite poem by him is '2 flies' .
PU: Do you write with hopes of being published one day?
Pamela: I am terrified of being and of not being published. I really don’t write with the thought of being published, but if it happens one day, that would be nice. I simply love writing.
PU: Do you listen to music when you write? What is your favourite type of music?
Pamela: I love music of all genres: classical, Broadway musicals, Americana, ‘60’s rock, to the occasional country music (when my husband insists on playing it! Seriously, I don’t mind it) The last music I purchased was Sting and Police Greatest Hits. Sometimes I listen to music while writing, but not always.
PU: My favourite question! If you could have dinner with any famous dead person who would it be, and where would you dine?
Pamela: The easy answer is George Harrison. I have loved him since I was a child. And any restaurant on New York’s Restaurant Row would do, I am not picky. I would let him choose the place.
PU: Do you have some favourite poets in the poetry blogosphere you like to read or visit the most?
Not a simple answer, because there are so many talented poets out there, but to name a few, I visit Beyond the Bozone, I like her writings about life; The Trouble With Being Strong, her writing is evocative and interesting; and In the Corner of My Eye, she has a nice outlook on life.
PU: Poets are often creative on many levels. Do you have any other passions and creative things that you do?
Pamela: I love to draw, paint and sculpt. Right now, I am in the middle of two paintings, which I will finish eventually.
PU: Everyone seems to have a favourite quote they use often, or live their lives by. Do you have one?
Pamela: Yes, I love the quote by Honore de Balzac:
The habits of life form the soul,
And the soul forms the countenance.
Thank you so much, Pamela, for taking the time to let us take a peek into your very interesting life.
While I was checking out Flaubert quotes, I came across one that I hesitated to use at first, but decided to include because, in the end, it describes what I think Pamela does with her writing.
“Human speech is like a cracked kettle
On which we tap crude rhythms
For bears to dance to,
While we long to make music
That will melt the stars.”
Pamela’s writing is far from crude; I wanted to go with this quote because she actually turns out lines that I am sure must have melted more than a star or two out there.. Like this one from ‘the only way round it’
Noon dwarfs as you paddle
to be conventional with your art
Listen to this
as I obfuscate
An oval queen has become kingly
Can you hear it?
An oval queen has become kingly in front of our very eyes! 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 might be you!
(This interview was conducted by Sherry Blue Sky. If you would like to learn more about Sherry or read some her very own poetry you can do so by visiting her blog "Stardreaming With Sherry Blue Sky". Sherry is a regular contributor to Poets United and we would like to thank her for all of her hard work and look forward to future posts)