Tuesday, July 31, 2007

From Barbara Beyer Malley

In her older years, Ernestine Cobern Beyer

became a successful poet and lecturer,

describing to her fans the power of the

subconscious mind. She dubbed hers

"Jeeves," after the problem-solving butler

in P.G. Wodehouse's novels, and credited

him with helping her complete many of

her poems. At 35, however, she was so

discouraged by rejections slips that she

considered giving up. What a sad loss that

would have been to the world of poetry.

[from 1928 letter written to husband
David, away on a business trip]

"All my poems are coming back and

back. Each time it is like a kick in the

stomach! I know just how Dempsey

felt when Tunney pummelled his bad

eye! I wish it didn't affect me that way.

I almost think I'll have to give it up, I

get so blue. And I feel so lost, as if I had

nothing to do. I lecture myself the way

I used to Mother. In fact, I do it so much,

perhaps lecturing should be my vocation.

It is sad to think yourself a sky lark, and

find you are only a mud one! It is really

the cruelest form of torture, and I can

sympathize now with Mother's longing

to be a writer and her battered hopes

and ambitions. I do hope my children

will not try to fly high.

I am like those winged ants you see.

What good are their wings? They do

not fly! But I suppose they think they

will some day!"

[Mother, your wings were destined to

fly. By the 50s and 60s, your poems

were appearing in all the popular

children's magazines, and you were

giving talks in schools and libraries

about the power of the subconscious

mind. You named yours Jeeves...

mine is Jeeves, Jr.]



Pier One

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