Unleashing the Muse

For those who witnessed what followed during the next two years, it seemed otherworldly, supernatural. Lee had many talents. She was an excellent artist, seamstress, musician, and cook. She was a voracious reader and critical thinker. But she had never done any serious writing in her life and she had no education in the discipline. So it was almost mystical to see poem after poem, almost five dozen, come pouring out from her mind in two years. These weren't simply "channeled" from some disembodied spirit; they were the product of her own creative mind, carefully crafted over many drafts. It was decades later that anyone voiced the possibility that her accident may have contributed to this altered state of consciousness.

She worked through the night and slept by day. She emerged to cook meals and to see how everyone was doing. Sometimes, she would take a break and play the little upright piano that stood against the dining room wall, or go outside to breathe in the country air and watch the cat and dog play hide and seek. She gave special attention to Robin, then 4 years old, who seemed to accept her strange schedule and preoccupation with good humor. But she was always drawn back to her room to edit just a few more lines. In her files, there are as many as 20 revisions of the same poem, all laboriously typed on her vintage Smith-Corona.

Several themes run through the poems: love, nature, parenting, mysticism, and poetry itself. She was fascinated by her experience, awed by its power, delighted by its fruits, and humbled by its process. She pondered how her mind, any mind, could create a poem with its laconic magic, its intricate pathways, its ethereal music. She often expressed bewilderment regarding the experience that had overtaken her and energized her.

Much of the poetry is heart-breakingly poignant. Her rejected offering of unconditional love is painful to read yet clearly a critical element of what inspired her and drove her creativity. There was a time where she was able to express her conclusion that the releasing of her poetic talent was worth the pain of her loss.