Susan Polis Schultz and the poetry of Blue Mountain Arts were a big part of my junior high to high school years. Like Rod McKuen, her words often went to the heart of what I was feeling (lost, broken-hearted, dreaming of something just out of reach or deeply in love with my current boyfriend or crush) My mom and I didn’t always get along and back then she didn’t understand (or I didn’t think she understood) my overwhelming obsession with words, with poetry, with telling stories on paper. Being a writer was never taken seriously as a career option; it was something you did “on the side” after your normal job as a teacher or secretary. I wanted her to understand my need to write but I feared she never would. But one year for Christmas I received this poster with a poem. It was about 24×24 and packaged against a hard piece of cardboard and shrink-wrapped to keep it from bending. It was a glimmer (for me) of hope that she understood, or was trying to understand me. For all all I know she bought it on a whim and didn’t study the verse at all but I took it to mean it was okay for me to focus on my goal of writing.
For years (and I mean YEARS) I didn’t take the plastic off. I leaned it against the bookcase in my mostly-purple bedroom so it was the first thing I saw in the morning and the last thing I saw at night. When I got married and moved, it went with me, getting a little bent around the edges. So off came the plastic and I had to trim a bit around the edges to fix the broken parts. Over the years, each time I moved, something got ripped or bent a little more. It was, is, by now, just a faded piece of paper reduced to about 12×12 from all my cutting around the edges. It has a home now, in a frame under glass, and sits in my office.
- If you have a goal in life
- that takes a lot of energy
- that incurs a great deal of interest
- and that is a challenge to you,
- you will always look
- forward to waking up to
- see what the new day brings.
- If you find a person in your life
- that understands you completely
- that shares your ideas
- and that believes in everything you do,
- you will always look forward to the night
- because you will never be lonely.
- Susan Polis Schultz
Yay for Mom.
Cool post!!! Thanks for sharing! 😀
My husband and I met the summer before my senior year in high school and his freshman year in college (my high school and his college were 6 years apart). We used to send each other “monthaversary cards” every month to mark the monthaversary of the day we met…the vast majority of those cards were Susan Polis Schultz…
I, too, loved SPS and the BMA folks. Oh, the teen angstiness of it all.
Yet, her work is still lovely.
Know all about parents not taking our writing seriously. I’ve never been much of one for poetry other than Rod McKuen. This piece really touches.
_Thankyou_ for sharing this, Susan. It resonated.
Susan Polis Schultz and Middle School
I loved Susan Polis Schultz in middle school too. I would buy the Blue Mountain art cards, or stand in a store reading them. I, eventually moved on to the watercolor pastel booklets and bought them for friends. For my mom. I wrote my own poetry. Bad poetry.
My middle school best friend just sent me an email and at the end she wrote: Susan Polis Scultz forever. I laughed. I hadn’t thought of SPS in years. But she is there in my history. A poet who I wanted to emulate before I knew I wanted to be a writer.
Funny. I had a Susan P Schulz quote as one of my Quote of the Day entries a couple weeks ago, and wondered if people would think I was nuts. Didn’t realize how big a following SPS has.
I`m a beginning (I`m writing since March ) not English speaking poet. My native tongue is Russian. I write in English because of a dream I have, and only the writing in this language can make it come true. How do you think it is well written or not, and can it be interesting for English people? My finish aim is to publish my poems, but it sounds so impossible!
A dense fog has muffled a silent wood,
and me, so far from home, no light in the neighborhood!
Up to the sky with a milky way and a dying moon
I look and see – that a dawn will burn soon.
A foggy breath makes my shoulders shiver,
Not knowing a path I`m following my lonely fever
To ask what backward thoughts are born with a morning dew?
What answers did I find, what lesson will I learn anew?
Why is pride so variable, and nature so obscure:
That repelled me of late now fatally allures.
How sorrowful it`s to know my heart and mind
What way my vain rebellion will find,
That a waning Moon can`t warm the cold stones,
And even a wild beast tamed one day will come home
To prostrate itself before the master`s feet,
And look at clever eyes humbly asking to forgive it,
And return to its neck a leaden ring,
Belonging to one`s will, and waiting for a bloodless win,
And make its heart of pinching joy be full
With one`s low voice, and by the mighty rule.
Re: My poetry
That’s a beautiful poem. You’re really talented! It’s so difficult to write poetry in a foreign language and you succeeded so well!
I did that with a poster too
And I would love to find the poem on it. The only part I remember is “You are you and I am I and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.” I read that poem so many times day and night and now I can’t find it anywhere can you help me? Sammi in Garden City KS.
Question about your book
I just ordered your book, titled “To My Daughter with Love on the Important Things in Life”.
I LOVE the verse you wrote, For My Beautiful Daughter, which starts out … I want you to always know that in good and bad times, I will love you …
Can you tell me if this is contained in your book?
Re: Question about your book
Hi – I don’t know if you will come back to see this or not but you should know that I am not Susan Polis Schultz. I was just writing a note about her in my blog.
Re: Question about a poem susan schultz wrote?
I am not sure if this poem was written by Susan Schultz but I am trying to find it so I am hoping you can help? It goes you are not alone though lonliness seems to follow and consume you to often you are not alone. Inside your head three inches behind your eyes lie the untouched wonders of yourself. Sorry for the bad grammar and text of this I have a shaking disorder. Hope you can help. Thank you Claudia Kingston.
Just beautiful! From one cancer /leo cusp to another : )
“This is so very true”…I am living it!
Thanks, Jenn. This was one of those few that flowed out easily and I stopped myself from wrecking it by overplaying. 🙂
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Hi,nice to meet you I circled you in google + because I am also a writer. I have worked with incarcerated youth, at-risk-teens and incarcerated women.
Your blog is great. One technique I have used is asking students if they would be willing to let me read their work anonymously and some students would read their own work later as they felt safer and safer they began to read their work.It is amazing. You have a big heart to do the work you do. Stay in touch,
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