As we move through the events in our lives, we discover that our attitudes and outlooks are profoundly affected by these events. We face problems and decisions a little differently because of each thing that happens. We are never a finished product. With some of us, these events are assigned to memory where they fade with time. With others, these events are recorded, not just as memories, but as journal entries, diary notes, prose jottings, or letters. Others enjoy recording these events as poems.
In Cherishing you will find some of the author's efforts at recording things that have made her who she is. Poem writing for her has become as much a part of her life as preparing a meal or taking care of her family. You will find in this book not only poems, but comments about the source of inspiration, or the event that caused the poem to be written. It's an insightful look into the author's experience, but also can cause you to think differently about your own life. Poems can make you laugh, cry, feel love, experience anger, and discover much about yourself. It's a different kind of a poetry book, and one you are sure to enjoy.
As you read a poem think what the appeal of the poem really is. What emotions or thoughts is it trying to direct you toward? Does it lead you to reflect on an experience of your own, or does it direct your mind to a place or to an experience you would like to have? If, after reading a poem, you are not inspired to reflect on it in some way, try reading it silently, then out loud. Put the thought in your own words. By putting yourself into the poem, it becomes an instrument for your own thoughts. Its meaning is then clearer, more personal. Perhaps it is no longer expressing the meaning the poet intended, but now it is yours. Your world of appreciation and understanding will be expanded.
Poetry has been an outlet and a very personal method of expression for the author since childhood. It is her hope that you will not only find pleasure in the reading and occasional rereading of her poetry, but it will perhaps help you find that poetry can become an avenue of expression in your own life.
adapted from "A Word In Preparation" by Robert A. Kolb Jr.
"Jan Kolb offers a touching and inspirational collection of poems, capturing our collective humanity. Like an old friend, the author guides the reader on a journey that is heartfelt and deeply faithful - providing a mirror into the wonder of the many facets of our own lives and of our faith." Nancy Richards, author of Heal and Forgive: Forgiveness in the Face of Abuse
"Janice Gray Kolb has the rare ability to bring to the surface deeply held emotions associated with transformative events in her life and translate them into poetry that everyone can relate to. Cherishing is filled with poems that reflect the author's unique sensitivity and appreciation of the beauty and mystery of life." Sue L. Peterson, animal advocate
"Jan writes a wonderful collection of inspirational short stories complimented by poems of love. Her book is a joy to read and there is a little something for everyone, no matter what the age. If you are in the mood for a great 'pick-me-up' you will truely cherish this book." Jessica Mae Kolb Drakely, daughter and friend
"Poetry is about the soul, about love and joy, sometimes about pain and sorrow, but always about ourselves and the companions who share life with us. In Janice Gray Kolb's Cherishing, form and substance combine to tell stories about children, spouses, pets, and God's green earth that will remain with you forever. It's a must-have for every true pilgrim." Michael Burnham, writer/journalist
Table of Contents
A Word in Preparation
Meditation 1: The Old Lamplighter
Meditation 2: A Sequel
Meditation 3: The Inspiration of Rita
Meditation 4: Three Fathers
Meditation 5: Journal Keeping
Meditation 6: Rochester Harry Whittier Kolb
Meditation 7: Poetic Notes
Meditation 8: Awakening the Mind
Meditation 9: Thomas Merton and Friar Francis
Meditation 10: Trees
Meditation 11: Hail Mary-Full of Grace
Meditation 12: Ingratitude 117
Meditation 13: Reflections
Meditation 14: Desire Ability to Respect Fragility
Meditation 15: Angels
Meditation 16: Poetry of Flowers, Plants and Rain
Meditation 17: Poetry of Art
Meditation 18: Flights of Fancy
Meditation 19: Other Realms and Possibilities
Meditation 20: Acrostically Poetic
Meditation 21: Encounters with Horses
Meditation 22: Revisiting Yesterday
Meditation 23: A Moose Tale
Meditation 24: Birds
Meditation 25: Squirrels and Chipmunks
Meditation 26: Hypergraphia and Poemcrazy
Meditation 27: Bring Me Poetry
Meditation 28: Barry
Meditation 29: Snow
Meditation 30: A Heartbeat Away
Meditation 31: Afterword
Meditation 32: In Memoriam 329
I have read that the sound of words in a poem working together with meaning pleases both the poet's and the reader's eye, ear and mind, for the sound of words can have a magical affect and spell. They surely do on me. Though each, sound or meaning, may have importance all by itself, both become more memorable and reflected upon when received together. Rhythm too contributes to the effects of a passage.
That being said, I will just confide that poetry has been a part of my life since childhood. Though there was an absence of it for a great period while I raised our family, did not mean that interest in it had diminished. It still held my interest and comforted unexpectedly at times, but it had slipped into the background for reasons not quite explainable. I read continually in the late evenings but centered more on spiritual reading in light of the responsibilities I had with six children. I will not explain now how I returned to poetry for you will learn that as you read this book. But once I did return, it was like an explosion of words and thoughts constantly flowing and inspiring, and the writing of poems helped me tremendously in varied ways. I wrote poems in all situations, and through all emotions and for precious people and dear animals, but one cherished animal in particular. Along with my writing of books on many subjects, my poems continued to flow also.
Three blessings to my heart and life came in the mid-eighties seemingly connected, or perhaps better to say, each sent by God to help me at a very difficult period in my life. You will read about them as you progress through the book. The third, and most dramatic to my personal life, was the entrance of Rochester, my beloved marmalade and white cat, whom God set down on earth for me as a kitten in 1986. His inspiration and great love inspired my writing, for that is when I began to write books and when poetry too, began to flow. It was a miracle, and his presence in my life remains an everlasting miracle. God can use whomever He so chooses to be our Angels and Guardians and inspiration, be they humans or animal companions. There are many in this world who have deeper relationships with dear animals than they do with humans.
Blue Dolphin Publishing, 2007
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