Saturday, August 20, 2016

In Memoriam – Wendy Rosenberg



On August 13, 2016, a very dear friend and fellow poet, Wendy Rosenberg, passed away.  Wendy was a kind, gentle, and caring lady. She became a Certified Applied Poetry Facilitator (CAPT) through the National Federation of Biblio/Poetry Therapy, and was a member of the National Association for Poetry Therapy (NAPT). She attended the Expressive Arts Institute at Salve Regina University where she received training as an Expressive Art Education Facilitator. Wendy was also a Kaizen-Muse creativity coach and a Reiki master. Widely published in numerous journals, Wendy was active in poetry readings and was a popular workshop presenter.

Founder of the Westfield Poetry Group (2005-present), Wendy was the recipient of a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation teacher scholarship to the Fine Arts Work Center, and she took her love for poetry and the creative arts into classrooms, homeless shelters, after-school programs, and bereavement workshops. Wendy faced a terrible illness with incredible courage and grace. She is survived by her husband Mark, her daughter Jackie, her mom, and two brothers. She will be greatly missed.

Our last summer rerun (scroll down) takes us to a prompt that Wendy used to write one of the poems that will appear in her posthumous collection (scheduled for publication later this year. She chose this prompt from The Music In It when it first appeared on May 7, 2011 and wrote a poem that is skillfully layered with meaning. 

It is with great sadness, gratitude, and love 
that I share Wendy's "Junk Drawer" poem with you.


Junk Drawer

            By Wendy Rosenberg 

The way I clean a junk drawer
is simple: dump, winnow treasure
from trash, rearrange memories –
keep or let go.

I line dead flashlights
beside damp thoughts
discarded last spring after
my aunt’s funeral.

Thin ribbons mingle with my
mother’s melancholy. She and
my father don’t talk much
anymore. All the pens are dry.

My mother asks me to call the
cemetery, secure space for
my father’s ashes, and hers.
I grab a loose doorknob.

The four of hearts stuck in the
corner doesn’t worry over a new
job or an appointment with my
dog’s cardiologist.

Dust from unfinished poems
lies under loose coins. I hold a
broken hourglass and watch 
the sand flow.


This poem first appeared in Wendy's chapbook In the Waiting.

To order a copy, please click on the link below.

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 Summer Rerun Prompt – What’s in Your Junk Drawer?

If you'd like to try a junk yard poem of your own. Here are a few ideas from the original post to help you get started.

Our lives can be like junk drawers, filled with clutter we keep. For this prompt, I’m not thinking about a literal junk drawer but, rather, an emotional junk drawer (psychological baggage, failed relationships, memories that should be forgotten, griefs and grievances that “mess” with our happiness, broken dreams that need mending, reminders of people and places we’ll never see again).

This week we use poetry to jettison some junk. The goal is to write a poem about the clutter in your emotional junk drawer. (Try using the imagery of an actual junk drawer, and let the poem take you where it wants to go.)

14 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry for your loss and the loss to the poetry community. Her poem is beautiful. May Wendy's soul rest in peace.

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  2. A lovely tribute, Adele. My condolences to all who knew and loved Wendy Rosenberg. I just ordered her book.

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    1. Thank you, Sandy! I know you'll enjoy the book.

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  3. In her honor:

    Junk Drawers

    spacious
    uncluttered rooms

    offset by junk hidden
    in messy junk drawers and closets

    a balance of empty and full

    homeostasis

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  4. Amita Jayaraman (Mumbai)August 21, 2016 at 8:24 AM

    So sorry to hear of this loss. My condolences to all who loved and miss her.

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  5. So sorry, Adele...I did not know Wendy, but your tribute to her and her work is deeply moving. And I love the poem!

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Penny. Wendy always admired your poems.

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  6. Rest in peace beautiful poet!

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  7. I am so saddened to hear this news about Wendy. I met her in Sherry Reiter's poetry therapy training program more than 10 years ago. I'd always hoped she and I would reconnect -- in fact, I was trying to contact her when I came across this post. She was, as you say, a lovely, kind, gentle soul.

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Nancy! I'm so sorry you and Wendy didn't have an opportunity to reconnect.

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