She's a young woman exploring the world. She's moved eight times in the last four years, carrying her journal full of poetry with her wherever she goes. This is a very special interview because it's the first one I've conducted in person and it turned out very conversational. Everyone... meet Susy!
Cayla: Tell us a little about yourself.
Susy: Let’s see. I’m twenty-two and have spent some time in college, and am looking for meaningful work. This sounds like I’m in a job interview because that’s what I always say.
Cayla: What would you consider to be meaningful work?
Susy: I love children and animals, so I think something in one of those fields would be good. Also something where I could use my brain.
Cayla: You like to write poetry. What is it about poetry that attracts you?
Susy: One thing about poetry is that I like that it has structure, for the most part. Once you understand what the rules are, you can actually break them and make beautiful things too.
Cayla: When did you start writing poetry?
Susy: I was five years old. I wrote a poem in Old English about Jesus. It even rhymed, actually! I rhymed “thee” and “family”, which I thought was quite impressive at the time.
Cayla: And did you continue to write poetry while you were growing up?
Susy: In spurts, in cycles. I wrote angsty, badly rhyming poetry when I was about eleven. It was usually about woodland creatures.
Cayla: Really? Angsty, badly rhyming poetry about woodland creatures?
Susy: Yes, it was an unfortunate stage in my life.
Cayla: What kind of woodland creatures?
Susy: Oh, you know, birds, and trees, with their boughs and their something something powers… you know.
Cayla: You have a blog where you talk about some of your poetry.
Susy: Yes, I’ve kind of neglected it recently due to lack of internet access and time. I’ve moved eight times in the last four years and I just want to settle before I get back to devoting a lot of time to that.
Cayla: What poets do you admire?
Susy: I really like Yates. Mainly how I got turned on to Yates was he wrote this poem called Down by the Sally Gardens, which an English composer then converted into song, and it’s beautiful. It’s not necessarily that I always like poems that rhyme, because I don’t, but I like poetry with a lot of structure, more depth to its rhythm, so I find that I’m frustrated by a lot of modern poetry.
Cayla: Are there any modern poets you do admire?
Susy: You know, I write the blog not only to tell people about poets that I find, but also to find out about them myself. I’m actually quite ignorant on the subject. So I research, then I blog. What I would love to track down is a Spanish poem called Merecer, which means “to rock”. I read it in one of my Spanish classes and I don’t know if I’ll ever find it again, but it was really passionate.
Cayla: Now, you went to school for a while to study singing. What was your major exactly?
Susy: Vocal Performance with an opera emphasis.
Cayla: A lot of opera is in other languages – have you studied other languages to prepare?
Susy: Yes, I have. I’m very quick on the uptake when it comes to phonetic rules, if I can see something and hear it, so I generally learn pronunciation very quickly. I actually took a phonetics class entirely in Spanish, so I find that I know the phonetic terms… just not in English. Somewhat unrelated, I’ve discovered recently that when I sing just for my own enjoyment, I prefer blues and jazz to opera.
Cayla: Let’s talk a little bit about Benedict Cumberbatch.
Susy: Oh. Oh dear. He hasn’t taken out a restraining order yet.
Cayla: Why do you love him so much?
Susy: Well, of course because he’s ginger.
Cayla: Ginger power.
Susy: I think it’s because he plays Sherlock in the most modern and gripping and excellent way I’ve ever seen Sherlock portrayed. I’m a Holmesian.
Cayla: I’m going to ask you to step back from your love of Benedict Cumberbatch and ask you a difficult question. Cumberbatch or Jeremy Brett?
Susy: That’s a really difficult question. The settings of the show they’re in fit them and their portrayals of Sherlock so well. I can’t imagine Jeremy Brett playing the Sherlock that Benedict does.
Cayla: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Cayla: Smooth! But really.
Susy: I enjoy reading theological books so I’m a big fan of James White and Elizabeth Elliot. But on a lighter note, I enjoy mystery books. I read this absolutely delightful piece by P.D. Wodehouse. It was a satire of the 1920’s damsel in distress, gothic romance. I’m very eclectic in what I read. For example, when I sneak into Borders, I’m reading The Age of Enlightenment, which is a history of quantum physics, because I enjoy expanding my horizons when I read.
Cayla: What would you say to young readers, who might read primarily one genre, about expanding their horizons?
Susy: I can’t imagine reading only one genre. I guess I would say don’t be afraid to try something you’re unaccustomed to, but if the book makes you uncomfortable, also don’t be afraid to put it down.
Thank you so much to Susy for being here today! Make sure you check out her blog:
Susy's Poetry Bubble
All the best!