A chief influence in my life was my grandmother, an avid reader, amateur philosopher, painter and poet. The following is a poem which originally appeared in her chapbook of poems titled “Helping The Sun Grow.”
Aftermath Of A Stroke
Here I lie, tight packed as in my Mother’s womb
I laid with restlessness a full lifetime ago.
But still entirely I, altho I have no room
To move about and at my will to come and go.
But now — I wander, freely in my mind
The long road thru the crowding mists of time,
And pause in my journeying now and then
To live the happy times again
Made bright indeed by sunset’s glow!
by Elizabeth Sandy
I once observed that in addition to the genealogical family trees that we often trace, we also have ideological genealogies. My literary and artistic inclinations can be readily traced to my grandmother, who took up an interest in poetry herself because her great uncle had been a poet, as well as a founder and editor of two newspapers. He was known as “the Blind Poet of Ritchie County” and the last ten years of his life he babysat my grandmother and her siblings, reciting poetry to them as they played on West Virginia hillsides.
A few years ago I wrote an imaginary interview with this remarkable man who as a teen ran away from home to become a teamster in Sherman’s army. He was found in a delirium on the side of the road in Tennessee and lost his eyesight after a five month fever.
When he recovered he returned home and went to the school for the blind in Columbus. Graduating there he went on to get a law degree, then took up journalism. You can read my imaginary interview with John S. Hall here. Be inspired!