The Person in the Other Chair

The Person in the Other Chair, book version
The Person in the Other Chair, book version

I was inspired to write this poem after attending a poetry reading by Billy Collins.  The former Poet Laureate spoke after the reading about how he writes his poems to one other person.  This helps him to shut out the chatter and high expectations that comes from his fame.  I was intrigued by this and sat down one morning to write about that person for whom I create my visions. It has helped me to focus my creativity and to let go of any critical thoughts that creep into my brain while I am creating.

I am currently working with Shawn Lockhart to make hand-crafted books of this poem.  She has created the sweetest woodblock print of a chair and hand-binds the books herself.  It has been a special collaboration.  I hope you enjoy and/or are inspired by this poem.  If you are interested in  acquiring a book keep checking my posts, I will have information soon! 

 

 

 

The Person in the Other Chair

by Virginia Sperry

 

The person in the other chair

sits expectantly waiting

for what will happen next,

perfectly content to

let me make choices,

drive the vehicle of my creativity,

absolutely confident that

what I decide to make

will be beautiful.

 

The person in the other chair

likes things that tell stories

with shapes and textures.

All kinds of stories,

fairytales with magic,

traumatic tragedy,

comedy to connect with

that silly sprite inside.

 

The person in the other chair

doesn’t judge but does ask,

Why?

 

The person in the other chair

listens.

 

The person in the other chair

encourages me to make

something for myself every

day no matter how small or

seemingly insignificant.

 

The person in the other chair

knows that all creation is

an experiment and that there is

no right or wrong because there is

no preconceived notion of what

should be created by me,

only a preconceived notion

that what I will create will

be unique and distinctly born from

my life experience and my connection

with a greater force.

 

The person in the other chair

does not want to hear

apologies or excuses.

They are unimportant.

 

The person in the other chair

sees and accepts my

limitations and is proud of

even the smallest amount of

work I get done each day.

 

The person in the other chair

does not compare me to

anyone else, not even

a younger version of me

(which is, no doubt, a

fantasy in the first place).

 

The person in the other chair

knows that pain exists but

I don’t have to go looking for it.

 

The person in the other chair

expects me to take care of myself.

 

The person in the other chair

knows that no one else’s

opinion matters.

 

 

5 thoughts on “The Person in the Other Chair

  1. So glad that you & Shawn are going ahead with making additional copies of the book/poem. The poem should be ‘out there’ to inspire others to create, to encourage us to not be so hard on ourselves and perhaps, most important, to love ourselves.

    thanks for sharing this beautifl poem.

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