Marge: If you could return in your next life as any poet in history - who would it be and why?
Balladeer: Why, me of course! Get another go around at life! Oh, you mean like famous poet? Easy, Shel Silverstein. Most of the famous poets led such tragic lives. I would have loved to be able to write like Edgar Allen Poe but wouldn't want to live the life he did. Shel was extremely talented, had tons of fun writing and got invited to all of those Playboy mansion parties!
|Marge: You seem to
be easily inspired to write. What do you look for to stir your pen?
Balladeer: My active imagination stirs it. I can see anything like newspapers, TV, daily activities and just let my mind wander and create different scenarios until I find one I like and then write about it. By listening to a song, I wrote the poem featured here. From watching a video, I wrote The Fourth Tenor. From looking at a pretty girl in the car next to me in traffic I wrote Night Travelers. Possibilities are endless. Fertile imagination is everything.
Marge: Your style is uniquely reminiscent of the minstrel men, songsters who would travel from village to village singing to passersby. When did this form of writing come to you and why do you think it did?
Balladeer: It came very early. The first poem I ever wrote, at age 5, was "Dirty Sheet, the Ghost". I like to tell stories in poetic form. I consider poetry a form of entertainment and I try to entertain the reader. Many of my poems have little morals built into them because I feel that a message in story form has more impact than just the lesson. Many poets write for themselves but I blatantly write for the reader - and I love doing it.
Marge: It appears that form in poetry is very important to you. What do you look for in the poetry of others?
Balladeer: I look for good imagination and unique ideas and, yes, I look for form. I really enjoy good free verse but, if someone is going to write in form poetry, I expect them to make the effort to do it right. Nothing sounds better than good rhymed poetry in my mind and nothing sounds worse than bad rhymed poetry. For me personally the greatest satisfaction I get in writing is to be able to say what I want to say by following the rules of the form I am using. That's the challenge that makes it rewarding. When we write we put our own lives on that paper. So how do you want to present yourself to your readers? There is a Spanish saying that says "Show me your friends and I'll tell you who you are." I say "Show me your poetry and I'll tell you the same thing".
Marge: Have you any formal training in writing?
Balladeer: No. None. I just play it by ear. I write mainly for the fun of it. If I was to become more serious about it, then formal training would be necessary, I'm sure, but I'm happy the way I am.
Marge: You also express a wonderful sense of humor in much of your writing. Is this the real you?
Balladeer: hehe. You can take that to the bank! I have a hard time speaking with sentences that don't have puns in them somewhere! I love to laugh and I love to make people smile. Send in the clowns!
Marge: I was asked to pick my favorite of your writings - and I did not hesitate for one minute in choosing 'Abraham, Martin and John' I was pleased to know that you also considered it a favorite of yours. Why?
Balladeer: It was just the scenario of it that grabbed me. When I was in high school, every year they had a talent show where the students would have the chance to get up on stage and do whatever they did best -sing, dance, play instruments, etc. I never participated because I didn't do anything well. But, every time, I would hear some singer sing a beautiful song, I imagined that it was me in front of the high school singing it and shocking everybody with my incredible voice. I had the same daydream when I heard Abraham, Martin and John being sung by Dion and then my imagination kicked in and I thought, "what about if this was back in the past and someone were singing about what would happen in the future?" The poem was created.
Marge: As the captive has met the requirements of his release, Balladeer is hereby returned to the field of play of his heart - Passions in Poetry. (Psssssst ! This was fun !)