Let’s Talk Poetry: The Love of Home

December 8, 2013

Neil Carpathios

Contributing Columnist

They say that the essence of a home never quite fades, even when we relocate to a new place. In fact, the feeling of a hometown can smolder inside the heart like a burning coal. The singer and songwriter, Tom Waits, says: “I never knew my hometown until I stayed away too long.” Sometimes distance can even intensify one’s love of home.

Brenda Bramblette writes that she attended Shawnee State University from 1988-1991. In 1991 she moved to Atlanta to pursue her career. She says that she does keep in touch with friends and family and returns to Portsmouth often. Her poetry has won some awards and she is listed in the Who’s Who of Poetry registry. I’m happy to learn that she reads this column online and still composes poems with regularity.

Here is a poem that I would classify as a love song to her hometown of Portsmouth:

Down in the Valley

Down in the valley in the hills

The Ohio River feels peaceful and tranquil

Quiet beauty, peaceful and still

On the banks and bottoms

Ones will come to think and heal

Down in the valley and in the hills

Many come and many go

Land of our Indians so long ago

Generations we will never know

Setting on the banks of the Ohio

Lovers laugh, children play

Families gather on sunny days

Reminiscing of the good ole days

Down in the valley in the hills.

This place of quiet beauty and hills—how nicely Brenda Bramblette weaves with words her sense of home.

Address poem submissions and correspondence to: ncarpathios@shawnee.edu or Neil Carpathios, Shawnee State University, Dept. of English & Humanities, 940 Second Street, Portsmouth, OH 45662. (740-351-3478).