Sara Diane Doyle Named Poet Laureate of Poetic Asides

Before getting into this post, I want to say that the April PAD Challenge is not about competing as far as the quality of poetry is concerned. It’s very simply a challenge to write one poem per day for the 30 days of April. If all goes well, you’ll have 30 (or more) poems more on May 1 than you had on March 31.

Also, as part of the spirit of the challenge, it’s assumed that the poems submitted for the April PAD Challenge are all either first or very early drafts of poems. So please don’t worry yourself over who is or who is not highlighted each day and/or any other type of spotlighting of certain poets. Nothing done here should be done in a competitive way. Instead, everything should be cooperative. After all, we are (or, at least, we should be) a community of poets trying to help each other succeed.

That said, I want to congratulate Sara Diane Doyle for being named the 2008 Poet Laureate of Poetic Asides. There were many poets shortlisted for this honor, but after going through all the days’ poems several times, it became apparent that Sara deserves this year’s honor.

The honor is purely symbolic. Sara receives no compensation (sorry Sara) and is not expected to do anything specific (after all, she’s not receiving any compensation). But my hope is that she will do her part, in whatever small way, to spread the poetic gospel–both online and off (no pressure intended, of course, Sara).

So anyway, please join me in congratulating Sara–and maybe next year one of you will be the next Poetic Asides Poet Laureate. In the meantime, I’m going to include a few of my favorite poems from Sara during the challenge.


The doorbell rings
just as the phone
starts to buzz
and the kids run
through the room,
voices shrieking on high.
The dog joins the chorus
and she shakes her head
as she watches the words
that were almost a poem
sail quietly out the window.


How My Memory Behaves

Like aged lovers, too many years together,
we bicker over the details.
I learned long ago you have your faults,
but joined as we are, I can’t grudge them.

We take walks down that proverbial lane
and you dawdle, you lollygag,
you stop to smell a flower that looks familiar
but you won’t tell me the name.
And when I call you to my side
with a question, sometimes
your eyes glint–impish elf!–
and you withhold. Other times,
not so proud, you pull
the answer from a dusty shelf.
But my favorite times are the ones
when you close your eyes, you know
you knew once upon a yesterday,
but can’t for the life of you
recall when. Later, you’ll wake me
from sleep, eager, smiling, to give
the answer to a forgotten question.

We will grow old together–
sit on the swing swaying forward
and back, back and forwards again,
laughing at how much we can’t remember.



At three p.m. I push back
the silk eye mask that shelters
my delicate eyes from harsh daylight.
I’ve left my charge to wade
the early hours of the day
alone, unguided, uninspired.
After a quick tossle
of my auburn curls,
I start my daily stretching
routine–poke the fantasy
still ten chapters away from completion,
poke the short story idea
she still hasn’t put to paper, poke
the poem, the one about the plum,
that she just can’t figure out.

My workout complete, I lounge
on a velvet chaise and eat cold grapes
until she calls for my aide.
I sip wine as she pounds
her head and the keyboard–
a slave to my whims.



Forgive the laughter–
it bubbled up
from my toes
and spilled out
over my lips
and had nothing
to do with
your coming in.

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37 thoughts on “Sara Diane Doyle Named Poet Laureate of Poetic Asides

  1. Barbara Ehrentreu

    This was a good choice! Congratulations Sara. I’ve loved all of your poems and I especially like the apology with the laughter bubbling up from your toes. You write with clarity and wit. May you have a wonderful reign as Poet Laureate of our little, but exceptional world.

  2. Shirley T.

    Way to go, Sara! Congratulations! Your work is so refreshing and an inspiration. You’ll be a fantastic advocate for the craft and
    I know you’ll make us all proud! (insert trumpet fanfare here!)
    Best wishes, Madame Laureate!

    Shirley Tracy

  3. Rodney C. Walmer

    Congratulations Sara, I am very proud to have been a part of this. Your poetry was amazing. I am very happy for you. I have to admit most of the poetry I read was amazing.


  4. Corinne

    Congratulations, Sara! Richly deserved. I got tingles all over again from all three poems as I read them today, both from reading them, and remembering absorbing them the first time.

    And Robert, thanks for your lovely words about community and cooperation.


  5. mjdills

    Congratulations, Sara! You deserve this honor. Your poems are wonderful. And not an easy job for Robert who also deserves congratulations and thanks for what was a lot of work. Thanks, Sara, for sharing your life with us through your poetry. Jodi

  6. Sara Diane Doyle

    Wow-I’m floored! Thank you all for this wonderful honor. It was a fun month of new poems and I was daily challenged by Robert and all of you to keep my writing sharp. I look forward to creating many more poems with you all! Thanks again- Sara

  7. Sheryl Kay Oder

    Congratulations, Sara. Reading your poems leads me to think you had just as much enjoyment from writing them as we have had from reading them. Keep exercising your creativity. Write on.

  8. Sara McNulty

    Congrats, Sara! from another Sara who even spells the name the same as you do. How My Memory Behaves is absolutely wonderful and sooo true–well at least for some of us.

    Congrats to everyone else for persevering and I look forward to seeing you on Wednesdays!

  9. S.E. Ingraham

    Congrats and felicitations Sara – this is HUGE – Poet Laureate!
    Well done, and well-deserved. I’ve been re-reading everyone’s work and am planning to email some of my comments to individuals but you get yours here, ta da (not that they’re all that valuable, but your poems certainly are!!).

    I loved your take on "The Little Deer (or the Reason Why) – it was one of my favourite prompts and you seemed to make it dark and creepy, as I tried to do as well.

    I also think Robert chose well with his picks to re-showcase your poems. In particular, "Mischance" resonates with me, especially by the end when "the words that were almost a poem
    sail quietly out a window". Sigh. That says it all. Again, well done.


  10. Lorraine Hart

    Alright Sara…sending you a virtual laurel wreath and much congratulations! This is one of those "Yes!" days…that you should go out and buy yourself a brand new beautiful notebook on.

    To Robert and everyone…thank you all sooooo much…this is one of the most supportive writing groups it’s ever been my pleasure to work amongst…and easily became community…so congrats to us all…see you under the dreaming tree!

  11. Carol - Amherst

    Wow Sara. How Wonderful. Congratulations. I loved your poems. You have a way of making the picture so clear. It felt like they were written with love. – Carol

  12. Diane

    Wow, Sara! I’m SO glad for you. I hope you’re having a great day today! I like all the poems Robert highlighted and remember reading them before. How My Memory Behaves shows how much you treasure that relationship. Explanation expresses how I feel when I accidentally offend someone. (At least your offense was laughter, mine is usually sticking my foot in my mouth!) 😉

  13. Elizabeth Keggi

    Congratulations, Sara!!! I, too, have enjoyed your poems. I do not know how seriously you take your writing – but don’t ever stop writing. You have a gift.


  14. Nancy

    What a difficult job to pick–but your sampling certainly reinforces the selection. It has been such fun to immerse myself in other people’s words since April began. Congratulations, Sara, to you and your muse.

  15. Salvatore Buttaci

    Congratulations, Sara! It is quite an honor to be selected as the editor’s choice for best poet of April 2008 prompts. You deserve it.

    And, Robert, is today the day those who participated in every day’s prompt receive their graphic they can post at their sites?

    Thanks, Robert, for being such a good host and poetry-inspirer for so many of us!

  16. janflora

    congratulations sarah! what an honor! i really enjoyed those poems and very much relate to "Mischance"… i came to the PAD late, but look forward to joining next year… enjoying the blog a lot…thank you Robert

  17. JL Smither

    Congrats Sara! I remembered reading Explanation and Mischance and loving them. I hope you’ve started sending some of these poems out! And that also goes to everyone else who participated even a little bit in this challenge. Good luck, everyone!



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