I Wrote Your Name
I wrote your name in feathers
all spread out on the beach.
The nicest ones would make
a pretty letter each.
A big storm came along then
and blew away your name.
The feathers fell down softly
and it was not the same.
I spelled your name in sea shells
all spread out on the sand.
A hundred shells I used
before back home I went.
A huge wave came on rolling
and washed away your name.
The shells were rearranged.
It just was not the same.
I wrote your name in anvils
all along the shore
the waves could not remove them
the wind would harm no more.
Your name was not to last though,
the salt air made it rust
and after a few years
all that remained was dust.
You seem to be all gone now,
I‘ll write your name no more,
though many shells and feathers
are waiting on this shore.
Ina tells us on her website that she was born in the Netherlands, on the beautiful tourist-destination island of Terschelling. (The photograph above was taken by Ina.) Her fascination with the sea began at an early age as she and her mother would frequently accompany her Merchant-Marine-Captain father on his adventures. This sounds like a fascinating novel in its own right. Perhaps Ina will write that book one day so we can all read it!
Ina’s newly released book of poetry called Veritas is invariably delightful. It moves the very soul, and we all need to have our souls moved occasionally lest we lose sight of what is magical in life and what will endure beyond it. I highly recommend delving into some of her thought processes via stanza format. It will be well worth the plunge.
I recently asked Ina some questions about her work and island life.
I know you love the sea and have always been inspired by it as an author, what motivated you to begin writing poetry?
I always liked writing stories, and I have been writing novels (in Dutch) for 15 years now for a living, but poetry came my way in 2010, when I tried to write a poem in English for my weblog that was not read by many people. I decided to give it a try and because people reacted, I got encouraged to keep writing poems.
“This is a book which surprises and delights in equal measure. Little slices of life so precisely described that the reader is left with a wry smile or a grimace or a wince of pain or a burst of laughter. These poems touch the reader in a way that only poetry can. It is a surprise to learn that such assured poetry is a first collection from someone writing in a language, which is not their native tongue. I am full of admiration and look forward to reading more in the future.” David Agnew, UK Author & Poet
What does Veritas mean, and is it your first published poetry?
Veritas (truth, in Latin) is the title, as I learned that a (good) poem must have truth in itself. It is my first English poetry book containing 160 of my first poems. I also had another poem In the moment published in the English poetry magazine The Journal. There will be two poems To See the Truth and Tragedy published in two anthologies this Fall, titled Strokes of Inspiration and Anthology Animals 2012.
You Left Your Coat
You stood on my doorstep one night
asking for shelter in another language,
but the weather was fine.
I found some wine while you got out of your wet coat
and all your other clothes that were soaked as well.
But the weather was dry. The water was salt.
Layer by layer, wool from the Shetland islands,
a linen shirt that was made in Italy,
and a scarf you claimed a woman in Greece had knitted.
I could sense her scent, spicy and sweet.
I took you into my bed and warmed you
for days with my body.
You never told me the name of your ship
but left your coat when you went.
It never dried up all together.
What inspires you most about living on an island?
I have 3 sons, all out of the house now, the eldest living here on the island though, and this means I can babysit my baby granddaughter very often. My husband and I like it here because of the relaxed way of living (compared with living in a city) and the feel of freedom we have here. I think my daily walks (almost 2 hours every day) in the dunes and woods here help to clear my mind.
What do you find most frustrating about living on an island?
Everything seems to cost more here and I would love to buy my flowers at a market. Hospital is far away which might be tricky in case of an emergency, and children need to go to the mainland and live away from home at a young age. But overall I prefer the life here.
Where all have you traveled with your father, the Merchant Marine Captain, and perhaps otherwise for inspiration?
My mother and I would join my father rather often so I did see a bit of countries like Norway, England, Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Germany, Belgium and France. We also went to Luxembourg on a trip, and later I went on my own by train to Greece and Morocco, stopping in Spain. With the sons we went to England and Belgium, Scotland. Nowadays I like to be in England for holidays. Whitby!
How long did it take you to write your poetry collection called Veritas?
I started Veritas in fall 2010 and in Sept. 2011 I sent the poems to Winter Goose and the book was published in March 2012.
Who do you read for entertainment and to be inspired?
I like Nicci French, but to be inspired for my poetry, I like to read poems by Billy Collins, Ph. Larkin and Mary Oliver, also I am trying to figure out Baudelaire, and I find inspiration in poems by David Agnew (Leeds) that make me think of poetry in a different way.
What mentors have you had along the way – teachers, friends, loved ones that support your goals and dreams?
It has been a lonely adventure so far, but with the English poems I had the encouragement of some of my blog readers, that helped a lot. I went to England for a book launch (David Agnew) and I was surprised to see what is happening there (writer circles, poetry festivals). Makes me wish I lived in England!
Yes, well Ina, you might want to live in England, but I for one would be okay with living on a beautiful tourist-destination island called Terschelling, off the Netherlands.
Ina’s poetry book Veritas is Available Now On Paperback: Barnes & Noble and Amazon eBook: Nook & Kindle You may visit Ina’s website at: Ina Schroders-Zeeders: http://wintergoosepublishing.com/authors/ina-schroders-zeeders/