Bill Winans is a good friend and one of my dedicated blog readers, and when he brought this book to my attention, I felt it was worth sharing with all of you.
Bill’s father, Clarence E. Winans, was a man of many talents – he earned degrees in Divinity and Psychiatric Social Work, which took him throughout the East Coast. It also inspired him to write about his observations, and to take what he saw and turn it into poetry. After he passed away in 1995, his son Bill found notebooks of hand-written poetry and verse. Many of these poems are highly personal and deeply introspective, while others show the dedicated observations of a truly learned man.
Here’s an example of one of C.E. Winans’ poems.
PRACTICE FOR DYING
What is sleep but a fragmentary death in which the body still retains its breath, while soul, or mind, or spirit is set free to roam amid forbidden mystery; to do what contravenes the world’s demands; to see the primal stuff of self-commands; to relive old attachments yet undone; to live completely, solely, just for fun; to laugh where laughing is never allowed; to fight and win instead of ending cowed by wake-time’s adversaries; and to fear only the fears which waking gives an ear?
Sleep is thus partial dying: Though we wake again each day, we end each day unsure that night’s short rest will but such fragments take and leave our later waking still secure.
Wow. Imagine finding that in a notebook.
Other subjects in the book include his observations on nature, marriage, civil rights, The Cold War, music, beauty pageants, hypocrisy, alcoholism, coping with serious illness, and even poetry itself.
One more poem for you, called “War Year.”
Leaves fell this year. I could not help but think men fell, too.
Men, yes. Young, my own age who, fighting, also fell.
Leaves fell brown-crumpled. Men fell pain-crumpled, dead. Boys, too.
Leaves had had their day. Frost came out-of-season this Fall.
Wind rustled the leaves to blow them down. Gusts blew men up.
Winds, shells rushed by. Perhaps some day only the winds will blow.
“C.E. Winans Selected Poetry” is available for download or on-demand purchase at Lulu.com, this link will take you there.