Robert Frost, one of America’s most revered 20th-century poets, had a unique perspective on this written art form.
“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words,” he said.
Three years after publishing her fourth chapbook of poems, Buckhead poet Diana Anhalt is back on the right path in her love of poetry with her fifth chapbook, “Walking Backward.” It was published in May by American Fork, Utah-based Kelsay Books and is on sale through Amazon.com.
However, she will have copies available for sale the Decatur Library on Sycamore Street July 29 when she and two other poets, Mario Chard and Caroline Knowlton, will read from their published works beginning at 7:15 p.m.
“It took me three years, but I finally ran out of excuses and decided it was time to put together another poetry collection of 30 poems,” said the 77-year-old widow who has two children and three grandchildren. “I was lucky as Kelsay Books picked the book up for publication and did a beautiful job.”
Her new book is about family and memories, “and is the kind of book one can only write when you get to be as old as I am,” Anhalt said.
Although she is a New York native, Anhalt spent more than 60 years as a resident of Mexico, where she drew a great deal of inspiration for her poems.
Now as a member of an Atlanta poetry workshop called Side Door Poets, Anhalt traces her love for poetry back to her high school days, when her English teachers inspired her to write poetry. However, that love of writing took its toll in her math classes where, she said, she spent her time reading and writing poetry rather than doing math, a subject she hated.
“I thought writing poetry would be easier than doing math, which definitely turned out not to be the case,” she said. “Poetry is a challenge because you are attempting to take on very large subjects and try to work with them using as few words as possible.”
Patricia Percival, a fellow member of the Side Door Poets, said Anhalt’s poems tend to be of a narrative nature and bring to life many aspects of her years in Mexico.
“Her poems are always so entertaining and fascinating as she picks out all these wonderful details about life in Mexico, which is so different from how we live in this country,” Percival said. “She has a real flair for language. In addition, she also writes social poetry, talking about issues of the day and living in Mexico as opposed to the United States.”