Quote of the Day:  Ideas for poems come from unexpected places. MN Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen. She said that one surprising place where she found inspiration was the subject line of an email.

Event organizer Krista Rolfzen Soukup and MN Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen
A string trio of local high school students set the mood for the event with their lovely music.
Laura Hansen from Bookin’ It Bookstore in Little Falls provided book sales.

Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen read to us from her collection of poetry and shared where she got her inspiration. Many poems are about people and places in her life, including many farm poems, a subject that I can relate to as a farm girl myself.  I connected to one of the last poems she read, Things You Didn’t Put On Your Resume’. Garrison Keillor featured and read this poem on the Writer’s Almanac, December 5, 2006. The poet gave me permission to print it here.

Things You Didn’t Put On Your Resumé
How often you got up in the middle of the night
when one of your children had a bad dream,

and sometimes you woke because you thought
you heard a cry but they were all sleeping,

so you stood in the moonlight just listening
to their breathing, and you didn’t mention

that you were an expert at putting toothpaste
on tiny toothbrushes and bending down to wiggle

the toothbrush ten times on each tooth while
you sang the words to songs from Annie, and

who would suspect that you know the fingerings
to the songs in the first four books of the Suzuki

Violin Method and that you can do the voices
of Pooh and Piglet especially well, though

your absolute favorite thing to read out loud is
Bedtime for Frances and that you picked

up your way of reading it from Glynnis Johns,
and it is, now that you think of it, rather impressive

that you read all of Narnia and all of the Ring Trilogy
(and others too many to mention here) to them

before they went to bed and on way out to
Yellowstone, which is another thing you don’t put

on the resumé: how you took them to the ocean
and the mountains and brought them safely home.

That poem speaks to my mothering heart. These are the kinds of things that I do, that I have done, that I’ll continue to do. I felt inspired to write my own list of things that wouldn’t go on a resume’.

Thank you, Ms. Joyce Sutphen for visiting the Brainerd lakes area and sharing your beautiful words and your kind and gentle spirit.

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt:  Where do you get your inspiration? Did you ever find inspiration in a surprising place?