Poetry's Late Bloomer

Article excerpt

Lucille Broderson doesn't write brightly about wearing purple. Now age 87, shown above last year with her grandson, John, age 9, she faces death with unflinching vision and sharp verse: "It's OK, it's all right," she writes in her poem "The Lake Goes Quiet and Gray." The poet, who lives near the Twin Cities in St. Anthony, Minn., told age-beat reporter Kay Harvey of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, what her message to her children is: "It isn't terrible. You can die with dignity and grace. I hope the way I'm living is telling them that." In "Since I Began," reprinted on this page with permission, she takes stock of life's hard realities but also notices what continues to bloom.

Broderson, who published two volumes of poetry in 2002, is a late bloomer who wrote her first poem at age 60. She had written short stories since high school, then studied English literature and social work, got a degree in library science, and married a dentist and raised five children. Only in her empty-nest years did she return to writing-in classes run by Elderhostel and others- wanting to work on short fiction and essays. …