Showing posts with label Smoky Mountain Sentinel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Smoky Mountain Sentinel. Show all posts

Friday, May 9, 2008

Clarence Newton, NCWN West poet and writer

A Man of Wit and Wisdom
by Glenda Beall

I enjoy seeing white-haired Clarence Newton arrive at Netwest readings because I know I will learn a bit about something I didn’t know or learn to see in a different way, something I already knew. While reading his essays or poetry, Clarence holds his audience in the palm of his hand.

Clarence seems younger than his 82 years, and his poetry and newspaper columns give evidence of a long life spent in careful observation of the world we have made for ourselves. His keen observations of birds and their habits, rueful observations on marriage, men and women, are all subjects he is adept at boiling down to a few succinct verses in a poem or an essay. He had a long career in aviation as well as years of studying law, a stint in the Navy, and in retirement -- the study of writing. He also teaches a course in driver’s safety for seniors. Self-effacing, Clarence will likely be embarrassed that I have made him the subject of this article.

I first met Clarence through the pages of the Towns County Herald, local newspaper in Hiawassee, GA where Clarence and his wife, Lorraine, live. Reading his column I got a kick out of his tongue in cheek views of politics or his shedding light on the absurdity of problems the media shouts at us daily. His essays have appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Smoky Mountain Sentinel and the Gainesville Times.

Those of us who attend Coffee with the Poets, where Clarence is a favorite participant, welcome his well-crafted lyric poems, or narratives which often end with a wry final verse. He leaves us either laughing or crying, but always applauding. As far as I know, Clarence has never submitted a poem for publication. I hope he will compile his poetry into a book. I will be the first in line for my copy.