Poet-a-Day: Meet Megan Willome
As author of The Joy of Poetry, it’s only fitting that Megan Willome takes care and pleasure in crafting words to suit a poem’s purpose. Megan has been a part of the Tweetspeak Poetry community for many years, and I finally had the privilege of meeting her in person at the Poetry for Life Retreat in New York last year. In-person poetry gatherings are not a part of summer 2020, but poetry-passionate people like Megan have helped sustain me.
At Mile 37 (an excerpt)
At mile 37 red poppies do abide
near fields of what we think will soon be corn,
past horses pale, their hearts held close inside
thin skin. Today is not a day to mourn,
though if I say I am not sad, I lied …
Tania Runyan (TR): Tell me about the origin of “At Mile 37.” What came first: the form or the content?
Megan Willome (MW): This is a poem I had been working and working and working on since I finished that bike ride in 2013, but it never felt quite right. (I still have the commemorative T-shirt.) Then, when I was revising the manuscript for The Joy of Poetry, I wanted to mention In Flanders Fields by John McCrae, which is about red poppies. The bike ride was called The Red Poppy Ride. Maybe I should try it as a rondeau, I thought, since it worked so well for McCrae. Once I got it in the form, I never fiddled with it again.
TR: What do you hope poets can learn from a book like How to Write a Form Poem?
MW: I’m looking forward to an invitation to form poetry. I have done some, but most of the form poetry I wrote was when I was in school. In my interview with Ashley M. Jones, she talked about using form poetry and sometimes breaking the rules within it. It’s something I’d like to incorporate more into my poetry, especially when I have one that seems to be stuck in some free verse wasteland.
About Megan Willome
Megan Willome is a writer for Magnolia Journal, WACOAN magazine, Fredericksburg Standard, Chronic Joy, and Tweetspeak Poetry. She is the author of The Joy of Poetry. She begins and ends her writing day with poetry and tea, preferably in her outdoor office.
Hear Megan Read “At Mile 37”
go to 1:22:21 to hear Megan read
Photo by Andres Papp, Creative Commons, via Flickr. Post by Tania Runyan.