Let a hundred poems bloom
Stabroek News
February 18, 2002

Dear Editor,

Last Tuesday evening, I took time off and waited to share a few thoughts in poetry at the Upscale Restaurant. While on the waiting list, I listened to poetry of varying dimensions and taste. There was this elderly gentleman all the way from Essequibo by the name of Peters, who never introduced himself when asked to do so. Nevertheless, in his modesty he went on to do two pieces of poetry. When completed I asked him if he had written the pieces. Surprised (I really shouldn't be) I learnt that this gentleman whom I assume to be over fifty-five-years has never written a single line of prose or poetry. Yet he boldly declared someone else's writing and after giving it some thought, I realise that in life, many people never build a house, but live in the best built one. Likewise many persons may never write or publish anything, but will be fascinated or inspired by the writing of others.

Mr Asafa George with his boyish smile was inspired when I presented him with a recent, unedited copy of my book entitled "Poems of Power". Poetry, as your editorial of Tuesday 12, 2002 S.N 'Let a hundred poems bloom' said, is not only a wonderful gesture, but an excellent brainchild of the proprietor. It ought to be part of our culture, as a people who has had a rich and cherished heritage of learned minds in the persons of Martin Carter, Forbes Burnham, Janet Jagan and Ruel Johnson. We are challenged to do more in this field of poetry and in so doing help to transform the contours of our educational institutions, thus paving the way for future generations to follow.

Upscale Restaurant has provided both the audience and atmosphere for such a reality. Therefore I declare, let a hundred and one poems bloom.

Yours faithfully,

Vanriek Beresford