The Story Behind “Two Poems” by Laurinda Lind

LaurindaToday’s post is written by Laurinda Lind. We published two of her poems in our Fall 2017 issue. 

It’s hard to say what makes poems coalesce—sometimes words just want to come out to play, and sometimes insights demand means of expression. One of these two poems came from observation, and one came as a response to something I read.

Double Exposure” came about because a friend who has probably become well-known as a poet by now (Todd Davis) was teaching at a Mennonite college, and told me about a weekend Mennonite poetry retreat in Pennsylvania. Though I don’t belong to any religious denomination, I registered and drove over nine hours to spend the weekend writing. During one of the closing events, a Mennonite minister (referred to as a priest in the poem) spoke about poetry in the tones of a sermon. I was feeling some social anxiety by this time and could have sworn I saw a shadow swoop down over his head, then veer off into the rafters. I jotted this hallucination down in a notebook, probably in shorthand, and speculated about what my subconscious mind might be saying. Then the lines of this poem started to come.

The other poem, “The Low Queen,” is a companion piece to a second Hans Christian Andersen-inspired poem I wrote, “The Slow Queen,” published in the journal Timeless Tales. Andersen’s tale “The Snow Queen” is a long, symbol-rich piece about a girl’s coming into herself. This process takes a long time in the story, hence the title “The Slow Queen”; the girl in the story has the help of shamanlike witches, one of whom owns a house with a door so close to the ground that visitors must crawl in order to get inside. This explains the title “The Low Queen.” A third companion poem, “The Crow Queen,” remains unpublished.

About the Author

Laurinda Lind keeps adding insulation in New York’s North Country in the U.S. In honor of Compose Journal, here are her publications/acceptances that start with C: ChautauquaChiron ReviewCokefishCold Mountain ReviewColdnoonCommunionComstock ReviewConclaveConstellationsThe Cortland Review, and Corvus Review.

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