Poetry and personal blog – Spilling my guts to strangers

Poetry Imitating Life

I imagine a lot of people wonder where the line is between truth and fiction in a poem, particularly when you write in a personal style, as I often do.

Last week I wrote a poem in part about a mother whose adult son doesn’t call her enough:

And though my son doesn’t call me often enough,
there are plenty of people I talk to all the time.

If something bad happens one day and they don’t
hear from me in due time, they can always call my son.

When I told my 26-year-old son Sul about it, he just laughed and rolled his eyes. He knows that being a writer’s son has some hazards. As for the relationship between the poem and real life, I do have my moments of panic and I don’t think my son calls me enough. But what son does? He’s there when I need him most, and even when the need is less great.

Like this past weekend: When I was in his neck of the woods, I called him on the spur of the moment to take some pictures of me. Luckily he was free, so we met at a nearby park. Here are a few outtakes and some photos I wouldn’t normally share.  Sul cheerfully did the best he could with my off-the-rack camera with few to any features on it to adjust for lighting. Case in point:



Sul is a tremendous supporter of my poetry and this blog. He encourages me to be as outspoken as I dare to be. He honestly helped me find my voice as a blogger by always reminding me to be myself. In turn, that has helped me as a poet to not be afraid of digging deeper.

IMAG0386 - Copy

I often try to take pictures without smiling, especially if I think I’m going to be sharing them on the web and I’m taking them myself with my camera phone. I imagine it makes me look more serious. When Sul takes pictures of me, he always makes sure to get some of me smiling …


and really smiling …


Sul has a great sense of humor. We always have fun when we’re together and on occasion we’ve been known to act silly:



He’s my heart and the best son I could ever wish for.


© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2013


Comments on: "Poetry Imitating Life" (28)

  1. Timely message for many of us, and for me, finally to see more than your eye! You are quite beautiful and these pictures are great! Thanks for sharing them.

  2. Today’s post is a surprise, and it’s leaving me with a big smile of my own! Thanks.

  3. Loved these photos, Adriene! I feel like I know you even better now, and a love your bright smile. 🙂 Your son is handsome, too.

  4. Beautiful! I have had comments on my own posts by readers who have read far too deeply into the words and come up some place that never entered my mind. It used to bother me, but after a while I realized readers see what they want to see even if it wasn’t intended by the writer.

    I loved the smiling face, but especially the thoughtful one where you appear to be reflective of all around you.

    There isn’t anything more amazing to me than the support that comes from our kids. It’s as if they have realized we are more than a parental unit. We’re a person.

  5. It’s lovely to see photos of you AD!! I imagine typing the same words you typed about your son to my son in a few years. Don’t they grow up soooo fast??? *sigh*

  6. 1emeraldcity said:

    Enjoyed this alot, Joyce…Your son seems like a nice guy, and I think he loves you much :))

  7. Thank you for letting us into your world to see this time with your son. I have two boys myself (13 and 8) and they inspire me every day! There is nothing more fun that being silly with your son!

    I also appreciate you addressing the issue of what can be read into our poetry. I write both fiction and poetry, but haven’t often blurred the line between them. Perhaps I should…

  8. Great to see you, Adriene! What a beautiful smile and a handsome son. Looks like it was a special day.

  9. A lovely Mother-Son duo 🙂 loved your pictures and the thoughts you shared here, god bless.

  10. You look happy! And it shows (in your pics and in your words!).

  11. I generally struggle with how much to reveal of myself on my blog. Here, you attack the writing AND the personal with joy and courage and humor. You made me smile and think how we arrange our ‘selves’ for the camera. May your week go well.

    • Hi, Beth! It is a struggle. I’ve used the blog as sort of a “gateway drug.” For me, the goal is to reveal my truth in the poetry, whether I’m telling it head on or slant.

  12. Seems like quite the special time shared by mother and son. You allowed us a glimpse into some light hearted moments of your world…Thank you. 🙂

  13. Dangerous Linda said:

    I love, love, love this post! I love you! And I love your son! thank you for letting me peek into your life so intimately.

    The photos and story are amazingly sweet and the following is my very favorite part:

    “Sul is a tremendous supporter of my poetry and this blog. He encourages me to be as outspoken as I dare to be. He honestly helped me find my voice as a blogger by always reminding me to be myself.”

    I can very much relate because my son, Joey, is the one who suggested I start a blog when I never even read one! He told me I have a unique voice the world should ‘hear’.

    Adriene: Thank you for all that you are and for sharing yourself so deeply and authentically! XOXOX

    • I love you too, Linda, thank you! It’s a blessing to have that kind of support from our children and I’m glad you have that in your life. It’s a privilege to have a way and means to express myself and share.

  14. Dangerous Linda said:

    Should have proof read my comment before posting — hah! See how excited I was? “…Joey, is the one who suggested I start a blog when I never even read one!” should be “…before I had ever read any other blog… ” 😉

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