Literary Hook: ‘Renewed and refreshed’ in the new year

By Christine Swanberg

Author and Poet

During January of 2009, I was at Centrum Center for the Arts in Port Townsend, Wash. Centrum Center for the Arts, the old Fort Warden State Park (where An Officer and a Gentleman was filmed), offers residencies to artists who want to use the beautiful space and solitude for their art.

At the end of a wonderful week of creativity, I wondered how I could take the inspirational and creative energy home with me. This poem came out of that reflection. It seems appropriate for the new year, and it’s the second printing in The Rock River Times.


Renewed and refreshed, I promise to take

this energy with me through the new year.

I solemnly swear to write the poetry

I am called to write,

and when those Elysian fields

fold fallow beneath the snow,

turn my ear and eye to revision.

Replenished and reanimated, I promise

to play the piano regularly,

to relearn all I can about resolution

and recapitulation in music and in life

from this day forth. Restored

and reinvigorated, I elect to live with

good coffee and wine, savory winter soups,

more fruit, and learn the art of ginger.

Re-opened, re-fired, I return with clarity

to my good life and my good home,

and resolve: to have the piano re-tuned,

to re-paint and re-wire the garage,

re-conquer the leaking skylight.

Re-surfacing, I promise to take care

of my health, re-appear at the health club,

re-stock my wardrobe with brighter colors,

re-sort and refine my scarf collection.

I will redefine myself as one with a smile

that puts others at ease.

I will reserve judgments, allowing them

to reincarnate in dreams and poems.

I release all wrong done to me

into the mighty cauldron of the past,

rejoicing in each daily movement

wherever it may lead. Rekindling zest,

I will fervently try to resent or regret nothing,

reclaiming: health, style, standing,

creativity, discipline, abundance,

contentment, and the joy of reinvention.

Christine Swanberg has published about 300 poems in 70 journals and anthologies.

From the Jan. 13-19, 2010 issue.

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