“Company” and “To the Mortician” by Hannah Butcher appeared in Issue 21 and can be read here.
We’d love to hear more about these two poems.
I wrote “To the Mortician” as an act of emotional cleansing. After attending a funeral of a loved one, I was angry at how the mortician made him look like he was simply asleep, how he manipulated his body as a sort of prop for a show. This poem was a result of that anger in which I questioned the mortician’s conscience and if he/she felt anything while dealing with my loved one’s body.
“Company” was inspired by my internal insecurities. Due to trust issues, I had a difficult time making long-lasting friends, and I was very self-conscious about it. I felt as if I always gave all my energy to people and they never reciprocated. So, I wrote “Company” to encourage myself to accept my past because the people who would choose to figure me out were the keepers. Thankfully, I later found out that my estimation was true.
What was the most difficult part in writing these poems?
I always write based on personal experiences, so the most difficult part of writing poetry is reliving painful memories. However, it’s also rewarding to map out your emotions on paper. It separates them from yourself so that you don’t have to deal with them alone. Your keyboard acts as your therapist, and reading your own poetry after you’ve written it is one of the most cathartic things you can do.
Recommend a book for us which was published within the last decade.
If you’re interested in reading great poetry, I would recommend Autoposy by Donte Collins. His work is so emotion-packed and truly fulfilling.
If you could have a drink with any living author, who would it be? Why?
If I could have a drink with any living author, it would be with John Greene. I grew up reading his books and watching his educational videos on YouTube, so getting to talk with him would be a dream come true.
What are you working on now? What’s next?
I am currently working on a poetry anthology titled The Elements and am submitting individual poems from that anthology to different publications. I am also writing new poems on the side, maintaining my writing services on my website (2bornot2bwritingtips.com), going to school, and beginning internships. My plate is full, but I’m always up for the challenge.
Our thanks to Hannah for taking the time to answer a few questions and share her work. Read Robin’s poems “Company” and “To the Mortician” here: https://www.sequestrum.org/poetry-by-hannah-butcher.
Hannah Butcher is a poet and author currently attending Rollins College as an English major with a Creative Writing minor. She has won many regional and national writing contests and served two years as co-editor of her university literary magazine.