AlyssaStedman-A.E.Stallings

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Biography
List of
Works
Sample
Poems
Inspired
Poems
Original
Poems
Bibliography
Presented by
Alyssa Stedman
A.E. Stallings – From Love of Fairytales to Renowned Poet
Biography
“But I’ll say it, because it’s embedded in everything I’ve read.
The tales that start with once and end with ever-after, all, all
of the stories are about going to bed” (thehypertexts.com).
List of
Works
These words from A.E. Stallings poem, “Another
Bedtime Story”, can really explain her personality and style of
writing. A.E. Stallings was born on July 2, 1968 in Decatur,
Georgia under the name Alicia Elsbeth Stallings (Murchison
1). Her father, William M. Stallings, was a professor at
Georgia State and her mother was a librarian (Byrne 1).
Stallings grew up in a literary environment surrounded by
books (“A.E. Stallings” 2). She became interested in writing
and poetry at an early age and knew that anyone could
become a writer. Stallings was very fascinated with fairy tales.
Her favorites were the original versions that had violent
endings because she believed they made children feel safer
when the bad guy was locked up at the end of the story.
Stallings’ parents believed that children should be treated as if
they have no gender. She and her sister were exposed to both
carpentry workbenches and dolls when they were young.
They also could have been considered tomboys because of the
fact they could gut a fish by the age of 4 (Murchison 4). In
1999, Stallings moved to Athens, Greece where she currently
lives with her husband John Psaropoulos and her two
children, Jason (6) and Atalanta (1) (Byrne 1).
Sample
Poems
Inspired
Poems
Original
Poems
Bibliography
Biography
List of
Works
Sample
Poems
Inspired
Poems
Original
Poems
Bibliography
Although Stallings was interested in writing at an early
age, she did not actually start until her high school years.
Stallings attended Briarcliff High School, where she received a
great education. Her AP English teacher, Mary Mecom, was a
very influential figure in her writing skills. A few of the poems
Stallings wrote in Mary Mecom’s class were even published in
magazines such as Seventeen (Murchison 6). After high school,
she attended the University of Georgia where she was an
English and music major. Soon after, she took a Latin class
taught by Dr. Harris. Stallings enjoyed the class so much that she
changed her major to Latin (Murchison 5). After University of
Georgia, Stallings moved to London for a year where she
worked at the Institute of Classical Studies as a canteen
manager. She was then encouraged to attend Oxford University
where she studied Latin and Greek. Stallings has won many
awards for her poetry. She won the Richard Wilbur Award for
her first book, Archaic Smile, and she received 2008’s Poets Prize
for her second book, Hapax. Other awards she has won include:
the Benjamin H. Danks Prize, James Dickey Award, Pushcart
Prize, Eunice Tietjens Prize and Nemerov Sonnet Award (“A.E.
Stallings” 1). When she was young, Stallings was very interested
in T.S. Elliot. She loved the rhythm in his poems and the energy
it took to understand them. Stallings was also influenced by her
favorite form writing poet, A.E. Housman and many others,
such as Richard Wilbur and Seamus Heaney. Stallings enjoyed
how Seamus Heaney could write in formal, but also do free
verse. She states that free verse poetry takes a lot of discipline
and skill to write. Stallings admires poets who have the
discipline to switch from formal poetry to free verse (Murchison
12). Stallings takes these techniques and uses them in her own
poetry.
Biography
List of
Works
Sample
Poems
Inspired
Poems
Original
Poems
Bibliography
A.E. Stallings enjoys writing through a
persona, something that isn’t personal or
mythical, but more a combination of the two. She
searches for a different point of view to make her
poems more interesting (Murchison 2). Stallings
writings could be considered formal poetry, but
she bends the rules slightly. One of her
interviewers stated that she can “make a formal
poem conversational” (Murchison 9). She uses
metaphors and similes, as she is supposed to in
formal poetry, but she also uses regular meter
and rhyme because she feels they make the
poems more memorable. Stallings feels free to
write however she chooses (Murchison 10). Her
attitude towards poetry has left a huge mark on
writing. She shows people the rules of poetry do
not always have to be followed; it is more about
what comes out on the paper. It doesn’t take a lot
of thinking and editing, it’s from the heart.
Stallings’ unique style of writing and her
willingness to be different can be summarized in
the words of another famous poet, Robert Frost.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the
one less traveled by, and that has made all the
difference” (Amandashome.com).
Biography
List of
Works
As Translator
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The Nature of Things (2007) by Titus Lucretius Carus
Poetry
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Archaic Smile: Poems (1999)
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Hapax (2006)
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“A Lament for the Dead Pets of Our Childhood”
“Actaeon”
“Another Lullaby for Insomniacs”
“Apotropaic”
“Arrowhead Hunting”
“Blackbird Etude”
“Chairs”
“Containment”
“Drinking Song”
“Eurydice's Footnote”
“Evil Eye”
“Extinction of Silence”
More Works
“Failure”
“Fairy-tale Logic”
“Fear of Happiness”
“A Postcard from Greece”
Something has come between us—
It will not sleep.
Every night it rises like a fish
Out of the deep.
Biography
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Sample
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It cries with a human voice,
It aches to be fed.
Every night we heave it weeping
Into our bed,
With its heavy head lolled back,
Its limbs hanging down,
Like a mer-creature fetched up
From the weeds of the drowned.
Damp in the tidal dark, it whimpers,
Tossing the cover,
Separating husband from wife,
Lover from lover.
It settles in the interstice,
It spreads out its arms,
While its cool underwater face
Sharpens and warms:
This is the third thing that makes
Father and mother,
The fierce love of our fashioning
That will have no brother.
Biography
List of
Works
Sample
Poems
Inspired
Poems
Original
Poems
Bibliography
“The Catch” by A.E. Stallings is a poem with great examples
of personification. This poem is about the chores and responsibilities a
husband and wife must face when having a child. These responsibilities
could cause a lot of conflict between the two people, as explained in the
lines “Separating husband from wife / Lover from lover.” The conflicts
could be with each other, or internal conflicts within themselves.
Although problems could occur, the responsibilities are part of life
when having a child. A line from her poem explains that the
responsibilities parents must take are only for the best “This is the third
thing that makes/ Father and mother”. Although people know the
responsibilities could be hard, having a child is a very special gift. It just
takes some considering and understanding with each other as husband
and wife. As previously stated Stallings’ poem, “The Catch”, uses great
personification. Stallings compares the chores and responsibilities that
come with having a child to a “mer-creature” from the deep. She
explains it by saying “Its limbs hanging down/ Like a mer-creature
fetched up/ From the weeds of the drowned.” She also uses the phrase
“It cries with a human voice/ It aches to be fed/ Every night we heave
it weeping/ Into our bed”. This gives the readers a strong
understanding on how overpowering the thoughts of the chores that
come with a child can be. Stallings used personification to give readers
an easier way to relate to these thoughts, too. Everyone can imagine
how hard it is to weigh the options of having a child or not, but it’s very
hard to actually understand what it can do to a husband and wife.
Stallings does a great job of stating how these responsibilities can creep
between them and also gives the reader a visual of what she is writing
about. The effect this poem leaves on people is everlasting because it
makes them actually think about their own lives and their own
decisions to have children. They will not want to rush into anything,
because the responsibilities could be too much for them to handle.
Stallings use of personification in her poem “The Catch” is very strong
and helps to make her poem’s effect even stronger.
Biography
List of
Works
Sample
Poems
Inspired
Poems
Original
Poems
Bibliography
A.E. Stallings’ poem “Fishing” is about a girl
and her father that are standing in the water fishing.
This poem is saying that even though the girl may be
too old for this, fishing brings the bond between them
even closer. I chose this poem because I can easily
relate to it when my dad and I do activities that I am
not always interested in, but I just enjoy spending time
with him. One of the lines that I liked was “She’d
rather have been elsewhere, her look told –/ perhaps a
year ago, but now too old./ Still, she remembered
lessons he had taught her.” I like this line because it
explains how even though the girl was not interested in
fishing, she still went with her father. Another line I
enjoyed was “The invisible line pulled taut that links
them both.” This really summed up the entire poem by
saying that fishing will always be something that
brings this daughter and father closer together, no
matter how old she is.
Biography
List of
Works
Sample
Poems
Inspired
Poems
Original
Poems
Bibliography
The two of them stood in the middle water,
The current slipping away, quick and cold,
The sun slow at his zenith, sweating gold,
Once, in some sullen summer of father and
daughter.
Maybe he regretted he had brought her—
She'd rather have been elsewhere, her look told—
Perhaps a year ago, but now too old.
Still, she remembered lessons he had taught her:
To cast towards shadows, where the sunlight fails
And fishes shelter in the undergrowth.
And when the unseen strikes, how all else pales
Beside the bright-dark struggle, the rainbow wroth,
Life and death weighed in the shining scales,
The invisible line pulled taut that links them both.
Biography
List of
Works
Sample
Poems
Inspired
Poems
Original
Poems
Bibliography
Stallings’ poem “The School of Dreams” is
about a child who cannot get the answer right.
Everything the child tries is marked by red ink
which means it is still wrong. I chose this poem
because I believe this is how a lot of children feel
when they cannot succeed in school work. They feel
they are failures, when that isn’t always true. A line
that I enjoyed was “The problem still remains/ It
isn’t what you think./ Failure’s in your veins,/ Red
as any ink.” I liked this line because it explained the
mood of the poem very well. The poem is summed
up in this last line and leaves people with the
feeling of sympathy for the child.
Biography
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Sample
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Inspired
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Poems
Bibliography
It is an afternoon
With chalk dust in the light.
The dusk is coming soon
And the answer is not right.
The answer is not right
And the bell is going to ring,
And red ink, like a blight,
Has tainted everything:
The leaves upon the trees,
The leaves that fall and rest,
The light, that by degrees,
Is failing in the west,
Everything will burn
With a shade of shame,
Because it is your turn,
Because you hear your name,
Biography
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Fairy tales are full of impossible tasks:
Gather the chin hairs of a man-eating goat,
Or cross a sulphuric lake in a leaky boat,
Select the prince from a row of identical masks,
Tiptoe up to a dragon where it basks
And snatch its bone; count dust specks, mote by mote,
Or learn the phone directory by rote.
Always it’s impossible what someone asks—
You have to fight magic with magic. You have to believe
That you have something impossible up your sleeve,
The language of snakes, perhaps, an invisible cloak,
An army of ants at your beck, or a lethal joke,
The will to do whatever must be done:
Marry a monster. Hand over your firstborn son.
Biography
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Sample
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Inspired
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Bibliography
Fairytales are full of impossible tasks:
Crossing the mote full of lava,
And unveiling the masks,
Leaving your family,
Searching for the princess in a tower,
While your time ticks down every hour.
Anything can happen,
In this fairytale world,
The magic is endless,
There’s nothing you can’t do.
You have to be stealthy,
You have to be smart,
Your world is the canvas,
Your life is the art.
First, the four corners,
Then the flat edges.
Assemble the lost borders,
Walk the dizzy ledges,
Biography
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Hoard one color—try
To make it all connected—
The water and the deep sky
And the sky reflected.
Absences align
And lock shapes into place,
And random forms combine
To make a tree, a face.
Slowly you restore
The fractured world and start
To recreate an afternoon before
It fell apart:
Here is summer, here is blue,
Here two lovers kissing,
And here the nothingness shows through
Where one piece is missing.
Biography
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Works
Sample
Poems
Inspired
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A soon to be masterpiece,
Lays broken on the table,
Made for nothing more than
entertainment,
But right now it’s better than cable
As each piece fits together,
The enjoyment within you builds
The corners and sides,
Then work your way to the middle.
With every piece,
Your picture becomes more complete,
First you see grass,
And then animal feet!
These puzzles are reminders,
Of our childhood years,
Bringing us back to
When we had no fears
Each piece holds a memory
Of a long time ago,
But for now, the soon to be masterpiece
Lays broken on the table.
Biography
List of
Works
Sample
Poems
Inspired
Poems
Original
Poems
Bibliography
I stand in an open field,
Plush green grass surrounds me for miles.
I look to my left.
Past the evergreens,
And the weeping willows,
Stands a cottage.
A cottage surrounded by daisies,
A cottage for me.
I am led there by the wind,
It pulls me along,
Whispering to me softly.
In this cottage,
There is no fear,
I am safe from harm.
Love surrounds me,
Caressing me in its arms.
If only I could stay here forever,
In this serene palace.
But it’s almost morning,
And I must wake up.
Biography
List of
Works
Sample
Poems
Inspired
Poems
Original
Poems
Bibliography
The ball is kicked,
It moves through the thick grass,
I am ready.
The ball flies through the air,
It’s coming straight to me,
I am fearless.
The ball is sprinting,
It’s passed to my teammate,
I am anxious.
Her foot hits the ball,
It soars to the back of the net,
I am ecstatic.
The eighty minutes are up,
Victory has been achieved,
This is me.
Biography
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Sample
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Inspired
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This disgusting germ
Creeps into me.
It never sleeps,
It only sucks away my energy.
My body tries to fight it,
Making me feel worse.
Everyone endures it,
We just have to work through it.
We can’t let this puny germ
Bring us down.
We are stronger than that.
This disgusting germ
That has crept into me
Will not win.
Not this time.
Biography
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Works
Sample
Poems
Inspired
Poems
Original
Poems
Bibliography
A rainy day
I sit inside,
Not alone,
But occupied.
I should get up,
I should go out,
But the weather keeps me in.
I’m stuck here with my family,
Which isn’t always bad,
We sit around the fireplace,
And reminisce about the memories we’ve had.
This rain does not only water plants,
Its water will bring us closer together.
It forces us to do things,
That we usually just can’t.
So as I sit inside this house,
I hope that the sun won’t come out.
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http://amandashome.com/road.html
http://www.thehypertexts.com/A.%20E.%20(Alicia)%
20Stallings%20Poet%20Poetry%20Picture%20Bio.htm
http://dreamwalkergroup.com/bio/a/a_e_stallings.ht
m
http://www.cortlandreview.com/issue/19/stallings1
9.html
http://www.forbes.com/2009/06/18/ae-stallingsclassics-leadership-stallings.html
http://www.keenzo.com/showproduct.asp?ID=25094
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http://www.poemtree.com/poems/SchoolOfDreams.
htm
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Pictures:
http://www.lawyersweekly.ca/index.php?section=article&articleid=869
http://www.stockphotos.it/image.php?img_id=527167&img_type=1
http://www.lilliputplayhomes.com/princess-cottage-playhouse.asp
http://www.muralsforkids.com/products/Fairytale-Castle-Canopy-WallMural.html
http://wordm7.wordpress.com/2008/04/18/fairytales-realities-andthoughts/castle/
http://thefreshperspective.com/services/our-philosophy
http://photos.ibibo.com/photo/2301350/sun-sunset-sunrise-orange-horizon
http://free-extras.com/images/clouds-1259.htm
http://diaryofagermaphobic.blogspot.com/2009/11/define-me-if-you-can.html
http://cybernation.co.za/index.php/2009/10/09/
http://blogs.eveningsun.com/mull/2008/05/rain_rain_didnt_go_away_now_
we.html
http://expressyourselfpoetry.wordpress.com/
http://www.lisisoft.com/tools/rain-drops.html
http://theshopatvictoriagardens.blogspot.com/2010/07/rain.html
http://arlingtonkids.wordpress.com/2009/11/19/939/

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