The Song of Joy and Pain
The poetry of Vivienne E. Stone (1944 – 1955) with a foreword by her son, Mike Stone
“… You see, dear heart,
We are but one. You are the child I was,
I am the poet grown that you will be.”
(from “Related” by Vivienne Stone)
Amazon (paperback): https://www.amazon.com/dp/1721082182/ ($6.38)
Amazon (Kindle): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DQVYXQ9/ ($2.99)
Vivienne’s book, “The Song of Joy and Pain,“ is a faithful copy of her gold-leaf, leather-bound hand-written book of her poetry, compiled with the barest minimum of editing. I have added only a dedication, a foreword, and a handful of poems I wrote about her at the end of the book. The poems were written between 1944 (when she was 17) and 1955 (when she was 28, 3 months after the divorce).
Vivienne, until the divorce, seemed to have lived an ethereal life, confident in her beauty, poetry, wisdom, and passion. It was difficult for me to find any solid correlation between the poems she wrote and the day-to-day realities of family life. Her earlier poems show a purity, an innocence, a love of beauty, and a belief in God; not a Christian God and not a Jewish God, but a God capable of creating a world in which a poet could live happily.
After the divorce, which appeared to have come suddenly and as a shock to her, her poetry shifted from rarified to raw and evidenced bitter disbelief, loneliness, and even thoughts of suicide.
When I read my mother’s poetry, I am reminded of the poems of Stephen Vincent Benet who, along with my mother, have greatly influenced my own poetry.