The other day I picked up a book of poetry entitled “I Hear the Lark Singing” by Oma Carlyle Anderson. I opened it to find a handwritten note from the author herself to a dear friend of hers, and here it was lost in a pile of random books being given away. I was amazed by the beauty and depth of the poems within… They were incredible and spoke with such conviction. I thought that surely Miss Anderson was a well-known poet and I had simply been missing out. Without hesitation, I took the book home with intentions of researching Oma Carlyle Anderson, which I did. I found something on her, eventually. I found out her dates of birth and death from a website that documents grave sites… 1901-2000. Believe me, I searched extensively with no luck. That’s all one can find on Oma Carlyle Anderson, the poetic genius.
The author of these marvelous, meaningful masterpieces is no more than another poet lost in obscurity. It saddens me to know this. I can’t help but feel that she and so many others have been mistreated. Of all the human beings that go down in history for one thing or another, they were somehow left behind. TV stars manage to be remembered, as if being in front of a camera is more difficult or more meaningful than pouring your soul out as ink onto paper and allowing others to feel your own emotions by reading the words that you arranged. I don’t say this to demean those that gain fame or to recklessly claim that they don’t deserve to be remembered… I only want to speak to the habit that we have of failing to appreciate those that came before us and paved the way through written word.
Oma Carlyle Anderson put her heart into a book and shared it with humanity. Although she died, she can never be gone now; But she can be forgotten, and I refuse to allow that to happen. Because I cannot prove otherwise, I am willing to assume that her passion for writing allowed her to be content in being only an obscure poet in her lifetime. This certainly sounds romantic… But I hope that over the years, her name grows into more than one only recognized by her family and the young dreamer who happened to pick up her poetry from a pile of free books. She deserves to be remembered as poet whose words marked the world.
From the starting gate of slumber,
by moments and degrees,
what random alchemy determines
the silhouettes of dreams?
What strange omnipotence
of curtained eyes to touch the past;
what borrowed journeys, guilded
and disguised, span in sleep
a hemisphere or universe?
Until awareness of the mind
cancels the racing streams
of imagery, and covers with
diaphanous light the little graves
of restless and unbridled dreams.
~Oma Carlyle Anderson