Luci Shaw's zest for life is contagious. At 92, the poet and writer is still discovering and creating. She talks with Nathan Foster about her new book, The Generosity, her creative process, and her close friendship with Madeleine L'Engle.

Show Notes

[2:40] Where did the title of new book, Angels Everywhere, come from?

[3:37] The Generosity – where did that title come from?

[7:55] Would it be safe to say that your dad was a kind of inspiration and helped encourage you as a poet?

[12:48] How has your writing as a poet changed through the years?

[15:21] How would you like people to read your poetry?

[16:42] In which Luci reads a poem she wrote yesterday called April.

This day,
this springy day,
I claim the never-ending
Sky for ceiling
And in the little rooms of my life
I cultivate seasons
As if they are flowering vines
Growing across my bedspread.

And grapes maybe,
Or seeds,
Our promises of July
Sleeping underground
Waking and awakening
A green resurrection.

On all our ancient trees
Rising sap
Has thickened the twigs
Until they sprout a thousand
Honey colored catechins
Heavy enough to swing in the wind,
Flinging in the bursts of wild air
Their lusty spores.

Though it may be an affliction,
Promotes new life
And the cherry trees exploding
With their frothy pink blossoms.

It is all joy,
All gratitude,
All grace.

[19:42] What was it like working with Madeleine L’Engle?

[22:45] In which Luci reads a poem she also wrote yesterday called Daybook:

This day is a book still unfolding,
a suspense novel—
we recognize the genre
with clues from the morning paper.

We are beguiled by the headlines
of sun struck clouds
and dew wet enough
to rinse our hands in.

The plot is original.
We can only guess
how it will turn out.

So we follow the narrative arc,
reading it through
the burn and blaze of high noon
all the way to the last page.

Until like an ancient writer
the night writes fini
and the stars endorse
the grateful author.

[24:51] What would you say to folks who are thinking of writing poetry or beginning?

[30:26] In which Luci reads Pilgrim from The Generosity:

Meaning is a landscape
Of boulders.
There, ahead of you,
A thorny wilderness.
You cannot leap over it. You
Must conquer it stone by stone.

To traverse it,
You must find sure footing
And fortitude
In uncertain weather,
Your fear like metal
In your mouth.

And yes, it is possible
To walk the knife edge of longing,
A blade narrow
As the path to heaven.


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