Weekly Feature: James PaulinSep 4th, 2009 | By Carlton Lloyd Smith | Category: Interviews | 1469 views
This article is part of a weekly feature we will be running for the weeks to come, highlighting one of our contributors here at Troubadour 21. It is our hope that we may give you a peek inside the lives of the artists who create the art and the poets who create the poetry you see here on the site.
This week we are featuring a Michigan poet out of the Detroit area. James Paulin is a member of the Southeast Michigan Poetry Meetup Group and was one of the first poets we published here on the site.
T21: How long have you been writing? Was there a moment or moment(s) you remember helping you BECOME a writer?
James: I have been writing poetry for about four years although I began writing essays several years prior to that. I recall early attempts at writing in grade school with some high grades, however I never pursued writing until my fifties when I started writing inspirational essays which were proof read by my eldest son (MBA UofM).This gave me the tools and confidence to continue with quite a few essays. Two of my essays were widely circulated within General Motors. About four years ago I discovered the potential of poetry to deliever a more concise message in an attractive way so I started writing poems. I wrote Magnificent Michigan and presented it to the Governor who wrote me a beautiful thank you letter. I have had two poems featured on the Prairie Home Companion website and that is quite an honor. I have also been a winner in the Poets Night Out competition in Traverse City twice.
T21: How would you describe your style? What do you want your poems to say about your viewpoint on the world? What do you want your reader to come away with when he or she reads one of your poems?
James: I try to be eclectic in form and subject but I do see the challenge of transparent and internal rythm as something I enjoy. I have many messages to deliver. Life is good. Look inside. Think big. Love a lot. Reality is more than meets the eye. Smile. There is one God who defys definition except to say Love. Look to nature. Truth is the first victim of war. Much more. I would like readers to gain fresh perspectives and be uplifted or enlighted or refreshed of just sometimes left with internal reflections.
T21: Who is your favorite poet? What is it that attracts you to his/her work? Whose poetry have you studied recently that inspired you, caused you to think in new and different ways?
James: One of my favorite poets is Edgar Guest as I admire his direct messages of simple values. I enjoyed studying E.E. Cummings with his experimental style. He manages to take abstract form and verbage and deliever powerful messages as if it were normal to communicate that way. I find that remarkably artistic and difficult. Less than perfect execution would turn it into nonsense.
T21: Tell us something quirky about yourself. Is there anything about you that people might not suspect? How does that come out in your work?
James: I have a passion for ice cream and have invented flavors for Kroger and Moomers of Traverse City. The luckiest thing that probably happened to me was being able to enter the reserves during the height of the Viet Nam war. It makes me very aware of many issues from politics to right to life. I could have easily been one of the 500 men a week that were giving their lives in a lost cause the Chinese and Russians were making sure we would lose.
T21: Who is your favorite band and what is it you like about their music?
James: I like opera singers Cecilia Bartoli and Renee Fleming to name
a couple. I also like Gordon Lightfoot a lot. I guess Gordon Lightfoot is my favorite musician because he writes his own poetry/music. My favorite tune in Christian Harbor. I also like early Cat Stevens.
James: Of course I try to be very diverse in form and topic yet try to be unique. I am just an OK poet but not too old to learn in spite of having increasing difficulty with Parkinsons disease.
T21: When you are gone, what would you like the world to remember about you?
James: I would like to be remembered for giving away what I have been blessed with.
T21: Where, other than Troubadour 21, can our readers find your work?
James: I am active on Writerscafe.org.
T21: What do you think of the answer to the great question, as expressed by Douglas Adams in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?
James: 42 is a good number but I like 1. One God, one earth, one humanity, one day at a time.
Thank you James, for your interesting comments. I, for one, have thoroughly enjoyed your poetry and look forward to seeing more and more over the coming years. We wish you the best of luck, and hope to see more of your work here at T21.Help Support T21 with your Dollar Donation Today
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