Thursday, April 25, 2013

National Poetry Month - welcome poet Debra Parmley

STEPH: Welcome, Debra! How long have you been writing poetry?

DEBRA: My grandmother taught me to read before I was in school and she read poetry to me. I would make up silly little sing-song rhymes as a child. But writing poems with pen and paper didn't happen until I was a teenager.

STEPH: Are there any distinct themes to your poetry?

DEBRA: Oh yes. I've written hundreds of poems. There were a few years I wrote a poem a day.
I've organized some of my early poems into a book, my first poetry collection. The collection, Twilight Dips, has a theme which begins with the individual and stretches to the world. It contains all my poems which were published in literary magazines while I was in college. I've dedicated this book to my grandmother.

STEPH: What forms/types of poetry do you prefer to write? (free form, hiakus, villianelles, quartrains, etc)

DEBRA: I prefer free form, free verse styles, though I have written in many other forms. There is a place for each. The freer forms allow me to flow into the poem, in a way the others don't.

STEPH: Who is your favorite poet?

DEBRA: Oh goodnesss it is hard to choose. Emily Dickinson was when I was in college. Today I'm not sure I could narrow it down to just one. 

5. What is your favorite poem?

If I thought the question before was hard, wow. This can change according to which day you ask me. That's the beauty of poetry. You can come to the page each day and find something different, something which speaks to you. Today I would choose 

            How do I love thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

STEPH: Share one of your poems with us.

Here is the poem my new poetry collection is named for.

Twilight Dips

Twilight dips
elegant fingers
over tree tops
into shimmering lakes
deepest blue
ripples spread
fingers twirling
swirling symmetry
calling out to fish
from deepest depths

fish rise
fish dive
fish mate
fish spawn
fish die
fishly life.

More of my poems can be found on my website

My poetry collection will be available through Amazon

and you can find me on Facebook

and on Twitter:

Steph, thank you so much for inviting me to visit your blog in celebration of national poetry month. It's been a joy to share my poetry with you. 

You're welcome.  Thanks for joining us, today! 


  1. Debra, thanks so much for visiting. Congrats on getting your poetry book published. I love the title. I love how twilight dips over our world.
    Thanks for sharing your poem of the moment. It's one of my all time favorites by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. And she had a very lonely story, too until she met Mr. Browning. *wink*


  2. Ah, sweet poetry. Ever since my mother read me my first poem, I have had a blatant affair with poetry. So glad to see you celebrating this month on your blog. I know I'm biased, but for me, poetry is the queen of the arts. Thanks Stephanie for honoring it with your blog.