Friday, July 13, 2007

Poetry Friday: Beverly McLoughland

My friend, Beverly McLoughland, is a children's poet who doesn't care for the limelight. She doesn't have a blog, a web site or a wikipedia entry. She prefers to focus on her writing, the very act of writing, and not at all on the publicity surrounding it. Her poems are exactingly constructed and lovingly polished, and they have been published, dozens and dozens of them over the years, in literary magazines such as Ladybug, Cricket, Spider, and Highlights. But you won't find many of them on the Internet.

It's not that she isn't computer savvy. She is. And she knows how to call tech support just like the rest of us. One day this month, she called about a problem, and a customer service representative based out of India answered her call. When he took her name, he paused, and then he asked, "Are you a poet?" "I am," she replied. Then he quoted one of her poems to her!

It turns out that he has a younger sister who likes reading poetry out loud to him, and she had been sent magazines from relatives in America, magazines with Beverly's poems in them. He had obviously liked hearing them so much that he had committed them (and her name) to memory.

Here is the poem that found a fan across the world. It traveled by old-fashioned print and by an even more powerful connection: a voice, speaking to someone who knows how to listen.


In its human shape
Of molded steel,
It looks as though
There's someone real

Inside. You knock:
"Hello in there,"
And hear a dull
Echo of air

As though a voice
Were drifting through
The lonely centuries
To you.

---Beverly McLoughland (all rights reserved)

Poetry Friday Roundup is at Chicken Spaghetti today.

P.S. Don't forget that Monday, July 16, is Tell An Author You Care Day.


  1. That is great. Thanks for the introduction to Beverly.

  2. :)

  3. What a really neat poem!
    And I admire her stance - it's bizarre that I have a web-presence. I'm basically an introvert with a very public persona. I know it's good for marketing and all, but sometimes...

  4. What a lovely story! I have a poet friend that has been published in print a lot too. She doesn't have a computer, just checks her email sometimes at the library. She is a wonderful poet.

    This is a thoughtful, memorable poem for sure.

  5. Cool story! (Cool poem, too!)

  6. That is a great story. The poem is equally swell.

  7. That is such a cool story. What an awesome feeling that must be, to be recognized and quoted from the other side of the world.


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