Poet Showcase: Linda Hofke

Name: Linda Hofke
I am originally from Pennsylvania but have lived in Germany for 11 years now.

How do you know Cara? We kept crossing paths in mutual groups and forums. First there was Poetic Asides, then Sketchbook, The River of Stones project, Poetic Bloomings. Eventually, we connected on Facebook. Gosh, when I list all the sites like that, even though it was purely incidental, it makes me feel like some sort of poetic stalker. Watch out! When you least expect it I might attack with an awful attempt at alliteration or pester you with anapestic meter. Seriously, though, I’m a fan of her work.

How long have you been writing poetry? In elementary school I wrote what I’d call silly rhymes, not really poems. However, I spent more time writing short stories at that time. Then we studied Carl Sandburg and I was taken in by his Fog poem, by how one could paint a visual picture and mood in another’s mind with just a few words. Later, perhaps seventh or eighth grade, we studied the work of Langston Hughes and it hit me. Poetry is a voice captured on paper, one that can cry, scream, whisper, rejoice, even laugh within the confines of a page. That’s when I started exploring the craft of writing poetry. I’ve been writing it every since.

What kind of poetry do you write? I prefer free verse over rhyme, except when writing humorous verse for children (which is a lot of fun) but also like to dabble with form. Except the sestina. They make me want to pull out clumps of my hair as I write them, and I hate every sestina I’ve ever written. Every. Single. One. (which amounts to a total of two and still holding)  I’ve recently discovered the tanka form and am having fun with it.

Please share a poem:

The Spinning of Wool

The last time the earth swallowed me whole
was the day a choir of angels flew,
singing their welcome song for you
as they gently lifted your eternal soul
from its earthly home to that celestial pole
where you, my old friend, begin life anew.
I remain with fond memories to carry me through,
to hold on to times shared, to help console,

but mostly, I am reminded what a fragile thread
life is, how we fail to recognize that time spins
the wool continuously, always growing thinner,
ready to snap at any given moment, the dead
then wrapped in pure heavenly skins,
no longer of earthly being, no longer sinner.

18 thoughts on “Poet Showcase: Linda Hofke

  1. Love of children’s verse; hatred of sestina … we are KINDRED SPIRIT!

    Your “Spinning of Wool” is beautiful, inspirational, and well crafted.

    So glad to see you highlighted here, Linda!

  2. So lovely seeing Linda here. As a fellow Sestina hater (I have penned two, both terrible, and needed a Siesta immediately after), I LOVE this little interview. 🙂

    LOVE your poem, especially this line:
    “then wrapped in pure heavenly skins…”

    Just beautiful.

    • Thanks, De. Maybe we should write a I Hate Sestinas poem.Or a “non-sestina”. I am not sure what a non-sestina form might be but I am willing to create one. How about the beginning letter of the ending word in each line instead of the actual same word. THat might work much better.

  3. read this once , forgot to comment … glad I made it back over here … nice interview Cara and Linda … a further glimpse into the life of this poet living across the pond … I agree with the others, lovely poem

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