Notes from An Alien

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Tag Archives: Tennessee

Poetry, Translation, & Life

This post makes 23 on this blog that have something to do with Poetry… Rumi - Poet

And, one of my absolutely favorite poets is Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

Plus, one of the best interpreters of Rūmī is Coleman Barks

I say “interpreter” rather than “translator” because all the good translators I’ve known say that translating poetry is actually writing a new poem in the second language, which to me is interpretation

Rūmī was Persian, Mr. Barks is from Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA

And, in an article on Coleman’s site, these words are shared:

“The message Barks conveys is of Rumi’s ecstatic poetry, which, as Barks said to Bill Moyers, PBS journalist, is ‘trying to get us to feel the vastness of our true identity … like the sense you might get walking into a cathedral … what Jesus referred to when he said, “The kingdom of God is within you.”‘

“Barks gave a precise definition of ecstasy in that Moyers interview: ‘each moment [is] solid and actual, yet numinous, shot through with divine light and guidance.’ He also gave a telling anecdotal definition of ecstasy when I asked him more recently to define it: ‘I was with my granddaughter, going around the yard lifting up stones to see what was there — there’s always something good, something interesting — and a woman walking by on the street just turned her head and said, “You’re going to spoil her.” This universe is just so incredible that we’re all spoiled, and it’s okay. Rumi said, “The eye is meant to see things; the soul is here for its own joy.” ‘ “

In a world where poetry hardly sells, Barks’ books of Rūmī have sold millions

And, to begin learning about Rūmī’s life, check out this article in the Guardian.

Finally, here’s a marvelous interview with Coleman Barks—Enjoy :-)

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Author Interview ~ Gwendolyn Newpenny

I’m glad we have Gwen here today for an interview. I’ve been following her excerpts from a story on her blog and I’m happy we can learn a bit more about her as a writer :-)

Gwen, where are you from and how old are you?

I am from Tennessee. I am in my late 40s, married with 5 children and 2 grandchildren.

Ah, grandchildren. Lovely :-)

When did you begin writing and can you remember how it felt inside, back then?

My first attempt at writing was in the 6th grade. I wrote a Cinderella play. I was going to act it out with my friends at recess. I couldn’t get enough of my friends to participate so the play was never seen.

Awwww… :-(

Was there any certain date or time you remember when you began to either think of yourself as or call yourself a “writer”?

I would like to be known as a writer but that day hasn’t happened yet. I am currently just a woman with a blog that writes creatively.

Well, this may be your day, ’cause I definitely think you’re a writer!

What are your hopes, or dreams, or goals for your writing?

I would like to be published some day. I need a great story to pop in my head.

I think the one you’ve been serializing on your blog is a great story :-)

Have you had any “formal” training in the art of writing?

No I have not had any formal training. I did go to college. I wrote lots of papers on different subjects there.

What do you feel has taught you the most about “how to write”?

At this moment it is trial and error. I write it. I read it. If it sounds good to me. I post it on my blog.

What is  your favorite genre of writing?

My favorite genre is Science fiction but I read anything that catches my attention in the first couple of pages.

Where and/or how do you get your ideas for your writing?

I get my ideas from real life. I mix it up with a bunch of added fiction.


What is your normal revision or editing routine?

I use the backspace button a lot. This would be my editing process at the moment.

Another Big :-)

Do you anticipate being published?

I don’t know when or if I will ever be published. Anything could happen.

Tell us about your blog.

I started a blog to see if people would like what I put on the page. I have no plan. I haven’t come up with the perfect story. At the moment, I just write what comes off the top of my head.

Again, Gwen, I must say that what you write is very good and I, personally, hope the story unfolding on your blog becomes “perfect” for you

Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing with us !!

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