Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy October


My maternal Grandfather was a writer and it was a legacy he passed on to my Mom who is also an extremely talented writer, which proved to be quite useful during the entirety of my schooling years as she can edit like a pro.

Unfortunately, my Grandpa died when I was about 9, but the imprint that he left on me runs deep. He was a newspaper man who spent long hours over his typewriter churning out article after article, most likely with a cigarette always nearby. When I picture him in this part of his life, I see it as it would look in a film noir from the 1940's - all dark and full of shadows, with cigarette smoke billowing in every scene. Cigarettes, in real life, I despise - but cigarette smoke is known for looking phenomenal on film and I love to picture it like this. Perhaps this all boils down to my tendency to imagine things as they would look in a film, something I have done from a very young age - but nonetheless, I love thinking about what life was like for my Papa, working as a writer.

Aside from his love of the newspaper, my Papa loved, loved, loved literature. From poetry to novels - you name it. One of his favorites was the stories from The Wizard of OZ and the copies that he gave me of these books are still on my list of my most prized possessions. This also vastly contributed to me, as a young girl, falling in love with the film version which I adore to this day. However, there was another book he gave me when I was far too young to appreciate it, and that was the Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson. My middle name is 'Emily' and so, as a child, I was attracted to people with the name Emily as children often bond by connections of names, ages, favorite colors, etc.

My Papa obviously felt the Emily connection as well, based on what he wrote on the inside:

8/9/1989

Dear Jocelyn Emily,

Perhaps one day you will come to love as much as I do, the other Emily in my life - Emily Dickinson, "The Belle of Amherst."

Love,
Papa Bothwell

At the time I had no idea who Emily Dickinson was, but I knew that she must be good if he would give me an entire book of her poems. I remember trying to read the poems but I was too young and their meaning was lost on me. However, through the years I have revisited the book many times and each time I find something beautiful and meaningful within it's pages. Last night, for whatever reason, I decided to glance through it and I found this adorable poem below. Seeing as it is the first day of October and it officially feels like Autumn outside, I felt that it was the perfect time to share it.

Nature XXVII, Autumn
The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I'll put a trinket on.
- Emily Dickinson

6 comments:

  1. How sweet. Memories of grandparents are such a treasure, and this is the sweetest tribute to your grandfather.

    Also, I never knew that about cigarette smoke, but it makes sense that it does look amazing on film.

    Beautiful poem girl... thanks for sharing it.

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  2. Papa gave you Emily Dickinson and me Clown books, because he said I was the resident goofball. Aw, cute! I like your description of the smoke, I know what you mean and I instantly pictured one of the Home Alone films within the film "Merry Christmas ya filthy animal and a happy new year!". Nice.

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  3. What a sweet post about your grandfather. Both my grandfathers were smokers too and although I can't stand the smell of cigarette smoke, I did love to hug them and sniff their special 'grandpa's smell' :)

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  4. What a wonderful story and memory of your grandfather.....I know what you mean about the image of a writer on film....i adore it too!! Have a relaxing weekend!

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  5. this post is just so sweet...love the letter
    memories are wonderful things to hold onto

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend

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  6. Wow, it must be amazing coming from such a talented family!

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