Saturday, October 3, 2015

Novel Profile Raising: Constructed of Magic by Loius Alan Swartz

D.O: What is the message in your book?

LAS: First of all, my purpose in life is stated on the 3rd unnumbered page in Constructed of Magic in the epigraph for the book:

"My purpose in life
is to waken the sleeping
spirit of man.
You are constructed of magic.
You are here to pervade joy.

 The message of the book is most concisely stated in the poem You Are Dancer (page 162):

You are dancer
In the shy.
You are spirit Who'll never die.

D.O: There are feelings you subdue when they transport nothing but finite hope. And there are feelings that sail like the natural sea driver into your heart with perpetuity feelings of swarming strength and hope such as the aforementioned poems offers.

LAS: Thank you Darmie.

D.O: My pleasure. What are your readers reactions to this book?

LAS: They speak of a greater pride in themselves and being inspired to do better in their lives
and not to waste their time on earth. I have received many very emotional responses like tears of joy which I was not expecting. One person said, "Your poems are making me ridiculously happy. The common denominator was enjoyment of the poetry regardless of religious affiliation or belief. All in all, the message has been well received and welcomed by readers of diverse ages, nationalities, ethnicities and personal histories. What makes me happy is that they had fun with the book. They laughed and cried and opened their hearts. To me, that's what it's all about!

D.O: So, it's just like me. I have not even read the entire book, and I feel uplifted already. What is your writing process? Do you have a regular routine?

LAS: I get many ideas for poems in the middle of the night. I always have a notebook beside
me so I can immediately write down these thoughts, lines or full poems. If I  don't write it
down right then, I can lose it. Very often a single line will grow into a full poem as it is being
written down or just after.  In the morning I read the poems to my wife. She is the first person 
to hear them.

D.O: I'm encouraged the more. What book(s) author(s) have influenced your life and writing?

LAS: The author who most directly influenced me as a writer was Rainer Maria Rilke, a German poet who wrote in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century. The specific Rilke book which influenced me was The Duino Elegies. I was in my 20s when I first read this book.  What I got from this book was the idea that spirits existed. It was not a religious viewpoint. It was not very specific and was not related to any belief system. I just read the book and got this idea that spirits existed. At this time I was experiencing a lot of personal upset. Reading this book and forming the idea that spirits existed calmed me down enormously. It gave me some peace in a time when I was anything but peaceful. Later in life when I read the book again, I was struck by how Rilke used the aesthetic to communicate the spiritual.

D.O: What are and current and future projects?

LAS: I am working with an artist on a full color illustrated version of one of my poems. I have completed the majority of poems for a follow up volume to Constructed of Magic.

Here are the first two poems in Constructed of Magic:

Some Things I Want to Show You
A lovely man died yesterday. He was at his piano Working in his usual way.
He’d been composing
At a fevered pace
And writing reams of poetry Unrestrained in single space.
He was just nearing
Four score and five,
But one hundred percent there And intensely alive.
He kept telling me
He had something to say, But we never got a moment And now he’s gone away.
He wrote me a note
A couple days ago:
“Some things I want to show you That gave me peace of mind
You will surely find them
In the things I left behind ”
This morning I went to his home. Early light through stained glass doors. Sitting at his piano alone
Surrounded by unfinished scores. Reading poetry written in a frenzy,
I was finally able to see
What he wanted me to see.
He wrote with wondrous esprit,
“I was so worried I’d be over With so much still to do But this is just a transition, I’m so happy to tell you ”
Then I understood:
“I have some things to show you That gave me peace of mind You will surely find them
In the things I left behind ”
At the piano I played His final score.
It was about the things He had always stood for.
Written with certainty,
A simple melody,
An unrelenting harmony Saying a man can be free.
In the score he had found a way
To compose something about immortality And infinite possibility,
Freedom of creativity,
Something regarding destiny.
He wrote with unrestrained hand Intricate, delicate and subtle, yet Limitlessly vast and awesome grand. But, so very easy to understand.
He wrote with passion and patience And surpassing artistry
Something absolutely thrilling About man’s eternity. 
When I finished playing
I felt personally utterly free, Devoid of any grief,
Loss or mystery.
I now fully comprehended The things he left behind.
You Should Have Been Here Tonight
You should have been here tonight. All of your lovely friends came by With their fiddles and cellos and such. They played as the sun set
On the brown summer hills.
You should have been here tonight. We strung magic lanterns.
There was deep belly laughter
And fond murmurings
As we told stories of the life you led.
You should have been here tonight. You would have danced with Claire. You would have noticed the deer Silently listening beneath the oak. You would have seen them there.
You should have been here tonight. In truth you were here.
In the last light of sunset

There was a laughing presence Unmistakable at the gardens edge. 

Get your Copy of Louis Alan Swartz's book HERE:

Also find Constructed of Magic HERE: 

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