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It must have started then in 1986 in that class. I think I said twenty years ago but it you notice I just wrote 1986 that would make it closer to thirty years ago (please don’t weary your brain trying to figure out how old I am, old enough is all I’ll say). The people in that class were a diverse group. Starting with the fact that we were attending a Community College yet our instructor had a PhD in English and she was a teacher with a magical way. One piece of magic was the book she had printed with the work of myself and my classmates in it. I think a copy still occupies a place in the college’s library.

I pulled out my copy of the book . She titled it Hyacinths and Bisquits, Foam and Rock. Taking the title from lines written by two well-known poets; she addressed it

“for the student poets, whose words are… ‘a synthesis of hyacinths and bisquits’” Carl Sandburg . And “Who know that ‘…poetry must be as new as foam and as old as rock.’” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Someone wrote a tongue-in-cheek letter that began the book putting it four years in the future. Reading the letter I saw that this person at least recognized the diversity of the group for he cast us in roles that he imagined for us: one person winning the Pulitzer, our instructor in NYC with the filming of her screenplay, another on the staff of Breadloaf, Ms. M on the Today show with her dog, an illustrator and I must have been seen as a feminist for he had me winning the Gloria Steinham Award and on the staff at MS. Magazine.

It’s a challenge to remember these classmates there is one who sticks out in my memory the one I called Ms. M. She wrote the most beautiful poems. They weren’t in any strict form nor did they rhyme and I guess one of our classmates had critized her work for that as in the book she addressed it in a poem and I’m sure to make her point she did it in rhymed couplets. I not going to quote the whole poem here just the last two lines.

“How dull if we all liked the same.                                                                           May variety in poems ever reign.”

                        Ms. M.M.H.

It’s there in those two lines the need for diversity. We need it. And if you gather a group of people together who call themselves writers you will undoubtedly find it. I tell you to relish it. I tell you it will help you flourish. I tell you to revel in it and be happy you are a part in it.

If you wonder about the “Bisquits” all I can say is that the way it is spelled and chalk it up to the diversity of Carl Sandburg.

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