Welcome from Amy D. Unsworth

Language, Literature, Learning & Life.

On the Year's Cusp

On the Year's Cusp

By Amy Unsworth

May you be blessed as you wander into the new year,
& find peace along your way and on your doorstep.

May the troubles of the old year linger there,
and the glint of possibilities lead you on.

May you ever be surrounded by those who love you,
and may you love them back despite their shortcomings.

May your hearth be warmed by laughter and light,
may your hands and heart be open to the world.

May the good, the honest, the true be on your lips,
may your interests be never ending in their pleasures.

May you always have wind for your sails, rain for your gardens,
food more than sustenance, and joy, and joy, and joy.


Happy New Year!

Live well,




ps. I notice a lot of blog searches for "New Year's Poem" or "New Year's Poetry" if you happen to like this one, you may copy it for personal use, but just drop me an email or leave a comment to let me know that you did. Thanks.



Writing poetry again, thank heavens. Danny (main character of my poetry manuscript) decided to start talking again--which is really good since I felt that there were too few poems in his voice for the arc of the narrative. Did I mention I need a story-- not just poems in isolation. I mean each poem has to be self-contained, but there is narrative too, at least in this manuscript.

I can't believe how expansive my writing has become over the past few years. I used to write 8 lines. Or 12. Now I'm writing poems that are often over a page, sometimes pushing 2 or 3 pages. I wonder if one day I'll just start writing prose? And I'm amazed at times how a poem will go places I didn't Plan for it to go; but this is good. I don't want to just write auto-biographical poems. I need a little creation, that spark, to make me happy.

Happy Holidays, friends, whoever & wherever you might be.

Stewing. . .

I spent the blackout reading by candlelight some of Barbara Kingsolver's work. I had read The Poisonwood Bible some time ago, but finally read The Prodigal Summer and was really intrigued by the themes running through it. I also read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle during the blackout. Now I've checked out a few more of her books to read over break.

I go for awhile and don't miss academic life too much and then it hits again: an almost painful need to get back to work (work defined as reading, critical conversation, critical thought and writing.) But no one says that I must be enrolled to do these things; I'm perfectly capable on my own.

Wearing out Welcome

Last Monday night the ice storm rolled through Manhattan Kansas. At 11:24 pm our power went out. Luckily we have a fireplace and the proper cast iron cookware so that we can stay warm and still have warm food to eat. It's now 1:30 on Monday afternoon, and still no power at my house. I've retreated to the local (wonderful) library for warmth and distraction.

I didn't miss winter THAT much. :)

Happy December 2007.

I'm still reeling that the page has turned to December already. And 2007 is ushering itself out the door. There have been many good moments in this year.

My two oldest sons are now taller than me, I got to spend a few weeks with my sister & her little ones this summer. The good outweighs the bad. Mostly I think because I am grateful for all the little things that make life worth living:

  • a new niece
  • my little nephew saying Happy Thanksgiving on the phone.
  • and turkey leftovers. yum.
  • a happy dog or two and how they make my husband laugh.
  • frost patterns on pumpkins
  • volunteer lemon balm growing between the stones of our garden path
  • Christmas lights through the windows-that fuzzy blur from a distance.
  • English & Irish Breakfast Tea
  • the laughter of my kids when they're all getting along for a change.
  • boring doctor's appointments (ie "every test result is negative, & that's positive")
  • meeting new people around this great little town of Manhattan
  • a new bakery cafe in town with great coffee & wonderful ambiance
  • Free Rice.com because I sat with my son & explained how to guess at vocabulary a little more effectively. And he liked playing.
  • The early darkness that allows me to pull the curtains & light the candles
  • ditto, because the boys actually are ready to go to bed at a decent hour.
  • the fireplace: the smell of the logs as they burn
  • knowing that I have support from my family & friends to help me endure the difficult times.
  • knowing that it will be ok, no matter what the final outcome is, because really, it's the same for all of us, sooner or later.
  • being able to accept sadness as a foil for happiness

Live well folks.

Be blessed this holiday season.

Dipping from the Well: Edgar Lee Masters

I've always been enchanted by the dramatic monologues in
Spoon River Anthology.

This one today struck a chord with me. I used to be ruled by fear in so many ways, that people would judge me & find me lacking. But my recent experiences with cancer have taught me that life is too short!! too short to not take risks, and try what you'd like to try and to be yourself. It's always been important to me to be a good person, to follow the moral values I was raised with. I always felt slightly abashed by my faith & my beliefs, but I followed them anyway. But, I guess I care less about being called a fool than I ever did before. I rather raise the sail and reach the sea.

from George Gray

. . .And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.
To put meaning into one's life might end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
of restlessness and vague desire--
It is a boat longing for the sea, yet afraid.

---Edgar Lee Masters


New Store Logo

I'm very excited about this new design & logo that I've come across. It was created by Jean the Bean Designs & it's just perfect. Thanks Jeanne!