Saturday, April 20, 2013

National Poetry Month - welcome poet Delores Goodrick Beggs

Delores Goodrick Beggs

STEPH:  How long have you been writing poetry?

I wrote my first poem, Tornadoes Over Kansas, as a teenager while attending a Kansas 4-H camp. I was sitting at the lunch table, looked up, and saw the tornado swirl to the ground in the distance through the line of lunchroom windows, and had a sudden urge to capture the feeling. Tornadoes starts:

            "First comes constant, keening wind,
            swirling faster without end;
            briskly banging at the walls
            dusty, swirly, filmy fog.
                        Lightning flashes prong the sky,
                        Thunder crashes, tree limbs fly;
                        Funnels roar, dance near the ground,
                        Lift and soar, then turn around....."

STEPH:   Are there any distinct themes to your poetry?

DELORES: My poems have one thing in common, they capture scenes of my observations of real life.

STEPH:  What forms/types of poetry do you prefer to write? 

DELORES: In later years, as an adult, I studied poetry extensively and participated in several different poetry groups. In my studies I learned to write many different forms, and took advantage of my studies to use whichever form - or free form -  suited my fancy at any given time.

STEPH:   Who is your favorite poet?

DELORES: Robert Frost. I have a copy of the book of his complete poems, 1964. His work speaks to me on many levels.

STEPH: What is your favorite poem?

DELORES: Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken." It sticks with me because I, too, took different roads from the expected norm for women in my thirties, although I did so of life necessity, not by choice. I was a single, divorced mother with three young children, working a job usually reserved (in that time period) for men. My job made all the positive difference in my life, allowing me to support my children.

            "...Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
            I took the one less traveled by
            And that has made all the difference."
STEPH:     Share one of your poems with us. 

DELORES: My mother was a special woman, and she was responsible for creating many opportunities in my life, which could have otherwise been rather bare due to my severe hearing loss from meningitis - I only have about one-fourth hearing in one ear, none in the other. My parents made the unusual choice for those days (I was only four) and elected to put me in public school kindergarten instead of a state one, state being the normal choice for children with such severe hearing losses in the days before special education. My mother got my public education started by going to school to pick me up on Fridays and speaking with my teacher about the week and the week to come; then we went home and she spent the weekend teaching me what the class would be learning the next week. By the time I was in first grade I had picked up enough coping skills on my own to handle public school by myself and later Denver University. My mother made it possible for me, a Kansan, to live life to the fullest, and in addition, chronicle the richness of my heritage.

            My mother had trained as a concert pianist in her youth, and while she taught me to play,             I never felt a personal calling to pursue piano beyond recreation. But...

By Delores Goodrick Beggs

I listen to your belled voice
peal infectious laughter.
Your fingers blur, held over
yellowed ivory keyboard
of the old three-pedaled upright
that never had a covered
middle C.

Next door, they had a baby grand,
polished, unapproachable.
I never heard it over the choruses
clustered about the upright
with you.

You used to take my hand in yours,
tell me we had the same long fingers,
"You could play..." your voice

My songs were always scribed in
not brushed in ivory keystrokes.
But never fear. You did, after all,
place your wondrous gift
in the palms of my hands.

Breaking Point: Place in the Heart Book One, May 2012
Charming Champion, Aug. 1, 2012,
Substitute Lover: Place in the Heart Book Two, Dec. 2012, http://googl/mzrof
Perfect Tenderfoot, Place in the Heart Book Three, coming June, 2013


  1. Delores,
    I love the verse about the tornado - very visual and easy to to picture. Your story about your mother's support is so heartwarming and endearing as is your poem. I'm so proud of your successes and they were possible with your mother's support. You and my son Joe have that in common. His sensory processing issues constantly challenge him, but he goes to mainstream 1st grade. He can do it but he needs the support.

    Thanks so much for sharing your inspiring story.

  2. I can hear your mother's music in your poem. What a lovely tribute to her.


  3. Delores--one of my favorite people, and you know I love your novels. Now, I learn you write poetry. It doesn't surprise me, being the talented person you are.
    I write silly poems....few people have seen them, and right now I don't even know where they are!Keep writing your novels...they are very touching and different.

  4. Thanks folks, my poems were my first writings, then I went to short stories, and then and now, my novels. I'm happiest when I'm writing something.

  5. The poem "Mother" is interesting. I know there is a science to music composition, in terms of which notes go together under what conditions, etc. I wonder if anyone has ever tried to draw an analogy between music composition and composition of prose?