Granbee, author of “granbee,” a delightful poetry blog has graciously answered ten questions I had. Go check out her blog and make sure you stay a while when you are there.
1) You use animals in your poetry regularly. How did that begin?
I have identified very closely with animals since my earliest childhood
memories. I always seemed to understand what they were telling me. It was quite
early in my elementary school years that I began to feel these animals were
wiser than humans in the ways necessary to support life on this earth in the purest
forms. Also, I always believed that animals accepted me just as I was and actually
LIKED me that way! As I grew older and began to tutor classmates with learning
disabilities, I came to believe that the same unquestioning acceptance of other
people just as they are was an essential ingredient in bringing success to our
common goals as we struggled along together. This belief has only grown stronger in
me over the decades and has provided insight into the Divine plan of love and
2) I have noticed that a lot of your poetry tells a story. Has this
always been a theme with your writing, or is it a newer theme for your
This current “critterly journey” that my poetry has been taking ever since late
November of 2011 on my blog IS a new adventure for me with my writing. I had
previously mainly written fiction and essays, with only occasional poetic testing of
the waters in my psyche.
3) Do you enjoy writing series of poems? If so, why?
I am finding that I enjoy writing this series very, very much. It is leading me
into new areas of creativity and exploration with my writing that I have never
thought possible before. I am finding that I become a dragonfly, a turtle, a
half-blind old dog, a wounded goat at various times and places in my “real” life!
What a marvelous adventure this critterly life is becoming!
4) Of all the things you have learned about poetry over the years is there
anything in particular that stands out to you?
I have recently learned that poetry does not need to rely on form so much as on
spirit, not on rhyme so much as on reasoning from the heart, not on rhythm so much
as on the pace of growth in wisdom. Form, rhyme, and rhythm ARE effective tools in
sending one’s message flying out into the world in such a way as to swirl into the
center of readers’ hearts and souls. But the form, that rhyme, that rhythm must
first abide deep within the poet. For me, that “abiding” is in the presence of the
5) Do you have a favourite poet?
William Butler Yeats, because I share some Celtic-ness with him; and because of
his spiritual view of so much in life, presented without preaching, in the midst of
great contentions between religious groups in the British Isles.
6) Do you have a favourite poem?
Oddly enough, the poem that has stuck to the inside of my skull over the decades
has not been one of Yeats’, but is, instead, The Faerie Queene. I have always loved
reading allegorical meanings into poetry, even when it was not intended by the
7) What do you feel that blogging has added to your experience of writing
I readily admit to all my blogging friends that blogging has opened up an entire
universe of connections and resources for my writing. For example, two of my
characters on the critterly journey in my blog are Cuddles, provided by Lauren
Swalberg of lscotthoughts.com, and Mr. Jitters, provided by Greg, known as the
writinggomer online. These two blogging friends have graciously allowed me to
develop these two “critters” as we travel along on our journey of quest to enter
into The One True Light.
8) Do you feel that your faith plays a major role in your work, or is it
something that only makes an appearance occasionally for specific pieces?
I absolutely know that my present writing would not happen without my faith,
without the constant guidance of the Holy Spirit. Even when I occasionally write
something purely whimsical or purely didactic (or even technical), I know that
without my faith, I would not be able to complete the project at hand. And I cannot
enter into any writing project that would negate any of the basic tenets of my
9) Do you consider yourself a poet?
Yes, I do consider myself primarily a poet these days. Even my prose writing
(such as the answers here to your fine questions!) carries me along on a stream of
10) What do you consider to be the most difficult thing in writing poetry?
For me, the most difficult thing in writing poetry is to distill, distill,
distill, the substance until it contains only the very essential essence of the
message, the action, the inspiration. This is exactly why some periods between my
posts in sharing segments of the critterly journey are longer than others. Some
upcoming action sometimes seems to me much weightier in terms of influencing the
lives of the characters and the direction of the quest.