It is a great pleasure to be able to revisit this particular short poem and update my post about it. When I presented this poem back in March of this year (you can click here to travel back in time to it), I mentioned that the poet herself was a bit of a mystery. Despite the inclusion of this poem in multiple anthologies and the wide debate about the usage of metaphor in poetry it provokes, the only information about Ms. Treasone I could find was a two-line obituary for a woman of the same name that did not mention poetry. But not long ago her daughter, Ellen, contacted me and let me know that it was her mother’s obituary and that I made the correct identification. I asked if I could share her note with you all, and she agreed.
She wrote, “I told her how proud I was of her for writing such a poem that would make people think, although it was very short, she told me it just meant; life is hard & a struggle and if you can figure out a way to cope and remember your mistakes, you can have a chance at happiness in your heart.”
A lovely sentiment – and I couldn’t agree more. I redesigned my illustration to reflect a mandala. Photo collage and composition by me, poem by Ms. Grace Marie Treasone (1925-2011), a poet and resident of Sarasota, Florida.
Today’s quatrain is from another mysterious poet – despite this poem’s inclusion in a number of anthologies and websites, I could find next to nothing about the author. I did find an obituary for a Grace Treasone whose life would have encompassed the correct time frame (the poem is listed as having been written around 1963); it did not mention poetry, but the name is unusual enough that I have included those dates here. Another thing I discovered about this poem is that it spends a fair bit of time on “worst of” poetry lists, both online and in books (it does get the occasional vote of confidence, though). When choosing a poem to illustrate, I have never considered such rankings – I look for poems that pair with images and ideas in my imagination and then I seek to execute what I have in mind. The research comes afterward when writing the post. I am curious what folks think of it. I will say that, as someone who has suffered from dental problems all of my life, I did sympathize with the metaphor! Photo collage (the lower one is of a reliquary from the Metropolitan Museum of Art) and composition by me.