Poetry on the mind

Happy 107th birthday, Art!

At a swap meet recently, my dad (Art’s 5th son) stumbled upon a box of clippings made many years ago by a poetry lover. One article is a profile of Arthur Franklin Mapes published on July 17, 1979, in the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette and written by staff writer Sherman Goldenberg. (I would go on to become a reporter for The Journal Gazette a quarter-century later.)

I appreciated seeing this story not only because it’s a well-written profile, but because several long-form quotes gave me a glimpse into my grandfather’s mind. Take this example into the differences in our creative habits: As a former reporter, I’m used to carrying a notebook, and if I relied on my own memory to remember my best ideas, they’d float away like the mist. Not so for Art:

“One poet I remember in southern Indiana carried a notebook with him. But I never did. I got the idea in my head. And I’d just make up the poem just in my mind until I’d memorize it, then type it down, while I was working or whatever. It never seemed to interfere with what I was doing.”

You can read all of the poetry here and the entire clipping here.