Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mockingbird Singing for the Blind

I had a rewarding experience resulting from a previous post entitled, Mockingbird Singing, which was poem I had written. During a moment of curiosity I was looking through the tracking paths for my blog and I noticed a hit on this old post. Going back I found the following comment had been left.
Greetings Tony, ... . I work with an agency that produces materials for people who are blind or visually impaired. One of our projects is a small monthly magazine provided in braille and/or 24-font large print. This magazine always has a poetry section, and in recent issues we have been trying to relate the poems to the lead article of the magazine. Since the lead article in April’s issue is about the mockingbird, I was searching the Internet for a poem to go with the article and ran across your blog. I believe your poem would be perfect for our April magazine and hope to use it there. Copyright regulations do give us the legal right to use copyrighted material for special formats used by people who are blind or visually impaired, but I wanted to give you the courtesy to have the ability say “no” if you do not want this poem in the magazine. You can find our web site at Horizons For the Blind. The site is a bit outdated, and we are working on an update soon, but you can learn more about us there.

After verifying that the non-profit was legitimate and exchanging an email with the contact there, I was thrilled and humbled that they thought the poem was worthy of using. I had no reservations about its usage in their publication. Below is the lead-in they sent me.
This month’s poem is not from one of the classic poets, but rather was found on the Internet. Tony Arnold is a business and operations professional who lives in Nashville, Tennessee. The poem below was found on his blog * site. Arnold claims that “All my poetry is based on real things that happen to me or feelings I have …” He claims not to be a poet, nor to read much poetry, but his poem below belies this claim.
* A “Blog” is an Internet diary of sorts where people share their thoughts with others and allow a place for others to comment.

Notice they included a footnote explaining what a blog is. Many of their readers are probably not familiar with blogs because their disability inhibits computer use. This was a reminder of all the small things I take for granted everyday.

This correspondence sure was a pleasant, uplifting surprise. It is also an example of those small occurrances that are considered luck or coincidence, but could easily be a small measure of God's providence. That is, me even seeing the comment left on this 6 week old post. I could easily never have been aware of the request or the poems use.

On the negative side, the whole situation does feed my narcissistic tendencies. :-)


JMG said...

That's really neat, Tony! Oh, that I would write something that someone wants to publish (and pay me for it)!

Tony Arnold said...

This makes the 4th or 5th thing I have had published, but I never been paid.

And I have an MBA for goodness sakes. Guess it didn't stick. :-)

Purgatory Penman said...

To Tony and all my blogger friends:

My typist(mother) has been suffering from some of the tragic events that populate the valleys of life and has been unable to work with my blog for some time. Please take a moment and visit with us again, surveying the new posts and giving us encouragement through feedback.

I didn't know that Tony is almost as new to blogging as I. Your depth of analysis and expertise with the English language led me to believe otherwise even as I began to read you from the first. As I have visited your blog today, I'm amazed at the growth I perceive, both in thinking and expressing.

It was such a treat to read your last three posts. Being unfamiliar with the young girl who seems to paint through Divine intervention, it was an intriguing experience to watch the video (Wish I were skilled enough to be able to share such things through the blog). Had I not watched it and read your introduction, I would have dismissed the possibility of such intervention in modern times. However, we all know there are so many more things in heaven and earth than we can wrap our minds around, and I, too, hope that things are as they appeared in the broadcast.

Congratulations on the publication of your poem. Perhaps, you should do freelance writing. Then again, maybe God is in the plan with this event in that there is a purpose for anything we do in any field whether it is a part of our vocations or not. I hope that run-on sentence conveyed my idea that God is using you in many ways.
God Bless.

Tony Arnold said...

Welcome back Penman. I pray that things are improving with your mother. I will continue to pray for you and your family.

Thanks for the kind words.


Carol said...

Hi Tony, I just discovered this follow-up blog to our original contact. Your copy of "Seeing It Our Way" is in the mail, if not already in your hands. I would like to clarify one comment you made in this blog section. Actually, computers are wonderful tools for people who are blind or visually impaired because there are great computer speech programs that read the text to the user. Of course the "mouse" is basically non-existant for blind or visually impaired users, but all commands also have key strokes, and by using these strokes, the reader can read everything (or, at least, most things) that are on the computer. The people I work with--70 or so percent of whom are either blind or visually impaired--are prone to say that "blindness is not a handicap; it is a nuisance." Given the right tools, they can do just about anything a sighted person can do. Hope you enjoy seeing your poem in print, even if it is extra large print.