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By Elizabeth Clayton
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2012 Elizabeth Clayton
All right reserved.
PrefaceSeveral hundreds of verses written in the decade before 2003, after my husband's death in late 1992, are still in place, many showing heavy clouds of illness and press, culminating in hospitalization on two brief occasions, in summer of 2002 and in October of that same year. Some, yet more, of the verses appear in the collection, Scarlet Flow, and many more are still uncatalogued. The verse written during the second hospitalization, has, in large part, been lost.
Scarlet Flow was a large undertaking for me, since I wanted, early in 2000, to collect and present a selected number of my pieces, the "better" ones that I had written since 1993 when I first took up my pen (since early adulthood), a time when I had been overmuch filled of my malady, indeed, could only lay aside my musings, being ill and too pressed, to create at all. I began, then, with very small compositions, an image, an insight, or observation of loveliness in my surroundings. I was concerned with yesterday, my aloneness, and feelings of alienation. Writing became as cathartic as creative and the verses began to accumulate. My nephew, Jason, was one of my few readers, memorizing selected verses so that he "would always have them with him."
I began this project in the summer of 2003, and finished it by Christmastime; the illustrations came after the collection was put together, in the following summer.
There are the very early verses, simple images, verses, many of them, about my loneliness, the negative events which had come to me in recent years, especially the accident requiring my early retirement in 1995, from teaching, alongside many losses in relationships (family and other).
There are also joyful songs of praise, prayers, descriptions of my childhood memories, the joustings with philosophical questions, including lack of fulfillment and the reality of death, the nature of being, "isness," and a great number of other subjects. Selections were difficult, and many are still left to be dealt with, in some fashion, a number, perhaps more, better executed than some chosen for this collection.
The illustrations are simply a variegated salad of color, texture, and other appointments. I attempted to include, as with a title, the sentiment of the verse with the visual presentation. Used are acrylics, oils, watercolor, gel pens, pressed flowers, and butterfly wings; bamboo twigs, fabric snips, ribbon, and a variety of other materials. It was an enjoyable, if tedious experience, in its entire, preparing the complete volume, it also being hand written; it is my favorite collection, especially that which includes some of my earlier work. It is my wish that the felt beauty of its sentiments, and their varied presentation, leave the reader a kinder, more gentle soul, having been touched by the wholesomely hewning presence of beauty.
Elizabeth June 4, 2010
Excerpted from Scarlet Flow by Elizabeth Clayton Copyright © 2012 by Elizabeth Clayton. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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