“I can feel the grit of dust and crunch of downed cornstalks in these poems. They are not nostalgic ditties, but instead are strong songs, often in a haunting minor key, that remove me to a time when many footsteps, from many families, from many homes, sounded on the Midwestern farm scape.”
Timothy Fay (taken from the back cover of Anne’s book of poetry)
Anne and Sam with the Mrs and I March 23 2013
I was introduced to Anne Maren-Hogan’s book of poetry this past November by her nephew Chris.
I would be the first to admit I am not a big reader of poetry….which makes what happened to me all the more powerful.
I can still remember sitting in Ms Burns 7th grade class reading “Jonathan Livingston Seagull. “
I got the impression something deep and profound was going on in that story, but it was beyond me.
(The same thing happened in Mr Newland’s slide rule class…..I felt over my head and could not swim)
NEVER wanting to find myself in that sort of discussion setting again.
Flash forward 40 year .
Chris hands me a little book of poetry @ coffee break written by his aunt Anne. (Chris works with me)
In my mind, I’m thinking...oh/ no/ if I take it, he’s going to ask me later what I think…?
I will be exposed for the uncultured farm boy that I am.
I took the book.
I inhaled the book.
I discovered a writer that drew me in.
She wrote about growing up in a large farm family , not too many miles from me.
Here’ another quote from the back of the book:
“With narrative grace and keen insight, Anne Maren-Hogan celebrates the strength and perseverance of women. Spanning two decades, the poems in The Farmers Wake offer a thoughtful meditation on family, place and culture. The poems move beyond a chronicle of farm lief in the Midwest to remind us all of the very human connections we share with each other and this earth. The landscape in these poems may be harsh and isolated, but the writing is rich and rewarding: stitching it all together with this certainty/ of leaving and returning as Maren-Hogan writes in “Lifting My Eyes” Pat Riviere-Seel
Anne and her husband Sam were back in the area this past week visiting family.
I’d built a multipurpose addition to our shop this Fall and had been wanting to do a “German Building dedication”
Last Saturday night, was the dedication.
Anne and Sam, joined us for a night of poetry/ music and mirth.
I asked Anne, if she cared if I included one of her poem on this post. So I did get her blessing.
I intended to include my favorite poem titled The Farmer’s Wake”
(It is about her dad’s wake)
I’ve had a change of heart.
I’m going to hold off because I feel like she has shared something with us very precious and sacred.
A glimpse into her heart.
I will instead give you a link to her book of poetry, so you could have your own copy.
In case you stumble across this post later Anne, I just want to say thank you again for sharing your heart, both in your poems and for actually coming and reading them aloud .
I am a wealthy man. DM
German building dedication
Lead carpenter (me) nailing the evergreen branch to the gable.