Sydney Eddison Releases ‘Light Of Day: Poems From a Lifetime of Looking And Listening’
Chances are if you are reading this article in the early morning hours, local author Sydney Eddison is writing away, with her pencil and yellow legal pad, in the kitchen of her home.
Mrs Eddison’s fourth book of poetry, Light of Day: Poems From a Lifetime of Looking And Listening, was released in October; as she explains, “the ink is hardly dry.”
She began crafting this new collection of poems directly after her previous book, All The Luck, was published in February 2018.
A marker of time, Light of Day is reflective of her life experiences while simultaneously archiving her present feelings.
Mrs Eddison’s writing routine has become standard: wake up around 7:30 am, eat, then focus the next few hours to letting creativity come to her.
“When I get up and finish breakfast, I don’t go and make the bed. I don’t move out of that chair, [because] it almost breaks the spell,” she said.
The figurative magic is the ever-enticing desire to be open to inspiration and catch it when it graces her thoughts.
During this time of the day, Mrs Eddison is mindful to overcome the daily distractions of life — phone calls, laundry, etc. She focuses her attention on being present, because, as she knows all too well, each moment is precious and fleeting.
“The minute you let loose, thoughts creep in and the poem that might be hatching in there is gone,” she explained. “I have to have at least a couple hours and give it a chance. If something does come, it may be by noon. Sometimes it’s not whole yet, but I know there is a poem there.”
Her habit of writing, she says, is very much in line with poet Wendell Berry’s philosophy of “Sit down. Be quiet,” which he chronicled in his poem How To Be A Poet.
Mrs Eddison takes the advice to heart, and in the quiet, she listens carefully to the sounds around her, which can be anything from the hum of the refrigerator to the banging of woodpeckers in the forest.
“I think the essence of poetry is the essence of life,” she said. “In order to access that, and anything else you are thinking and feeling, you need to sit down and be quiet.”
She never knows when hearing a specific sound will spark the next word, the next line, and ultimately, the next poem.
Mind On Time
“Part of why I started to write poetry is because I’m old and time is short. Truly, I feel this very strongly… try and make every day count,” Mrs Eddison said.
While everyone can relate to the passage of time, its reality resonates with her deeply at this time in her life.
“One of the poems [in Light of Day] is about this: to try and stop time and hang on to it. It is so precious, and the older you get, the more precious it is. That’s why it matters. That’s the urgency. If there is a poem there, it’s the urgency to get it out there that keeps you going then,” Mrs Eddison said.
To make each moment matter, she surrounds herself with creative people who motivate her and help her on her publishing journey.
Once a week, Mrs Eddison visits with her good friend Peter Wooster, a local artist who makes complex, multi-layered collages. After his stroke, Mrs Eddison began lending a hand in helping assemble the images he lays out for each collage.
“On Sunday, I go and I help him with collage and try to have a poem. If he can do what he does, than I ought to be able to do something,” she said. “I admire him. He is the most disciplined human being I have ever met.”
Being held accountable to create a poem each week not only kept her on track, but being around him gave her inspiration.
Light of Day was self-published through Pomperaug Valley Press. Mrs Eddison is very grateful, she said, for the professionals who took part in making her book a reality.
She cites Barbara Cottingham, who created the book’s cover and interior design; Kimberly Day Proctor, who candidly snapped the cover photo of her and her Jack Russell terrier, Phoebe, during a walk at Holcombe Hill; Hank Meirowitz, who photographed her author portrait for the book’s back cover; and Lorraine Anderson, who was the book’s editor, for being vital for the book coming to fruition.
“I’m very fortunate for Lorraine Anderson,” Mrs Eddison emphasized.
After Mrs Eddison writes and compiles all her poems for publication, Ms Anderson is in charge of putting each poem into a category then organizing the sequence and flow of the writings.
“She finds the threads,” Mrs Eddison said.
Light of Day is broken down into titled sections that include Seasons and Weathers, Imperfect World, Dog Days, Fabric of Life, Taking Words to Heart, and Passage of Time.
Compared to previous releases, Mrs Eddison acknowledges, “This book has more variety… It really is a way of capturing time. It’s really why I do it.”
Copies of Light of Day are available on amazon.com, at Queen Street Gifts in Newtown, and coming soon to Byrd’s Books in Bethel.
To pick up a copy and meet Mrs Eddison in person, visit Byrd’s Books, 178 Greenwood Avenue in Bethel, on Saturday, November 30, at 1 pm, when she will be doing her first book signing for Light of Day.
Sydney Eddison is currently available to participate in local author programs and book signings. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
An Excerpt From 'Light of Day'
There is no sure recipe
For a long, happy life,
But something that really helps
Is to cultivate young friends.
Take pleasure in their triumphs,
Support them in their misfortunes,
And reassure them by example
That life is worth living
At every age and stage.
I am old now and know
This to be true.