As 6:00 PM, September 23 approaches my anticipation of revealing the 3 winners, 7 finalists and 7 patrons grows. At that time Sunbeams: The 2018 Joan Ramseyer Memorial Poetry Contest Anthology will be ready for sale, but I cannot resist posting a release picture of the cover a few days early.
Word origins and meanings often bring me new insights into humanity and embarking on this project last May I could not have predicted the depth and breadth of submissions I would receive. After designing the contest, naming the patron levels after flowers, compiling the poems and building the anthology, I contemplated if “Anthology” was exactly the word to use to describe the publication. It turns out that without my full cognizance, it was.
Anthos’s Greek origin most literally translates to flower, while -logia means collection from the verb legein – to gather. All this time I gathered flowers for my mother just like I did as a child that one May Day so long ago.
Then, I snapped the bloom’s of spring from the forest floor around the farm. I arranged them in a claret colored berry basket stained from the wild blackberries of our meadows. Trillium, lilies, Spring Beauty and Dutchman’s Britches hovered like a halo over the basket rim and through the wire handle that I hung on Mom’s doorknob. I knocked hard with my little fist before fleeing back to the woods using only my imagination to envision her reaction to the surprise. A smile dimpled my pliant cheeks.
Now, I discover the roots of a word like anthology and reaffirm that I have not quite lost all the little boy in me. I still collect flowers of verse for my Mom to leave at her door. I can only envision her reaction. Even with a tinge of melancholy, I think I will still smile.