Woman's poetry is testament to light-hearted outlook on life

October 15, 2006|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

Leave it to Henrietta Cassady to find humor in her knee replacement surgery, a procedure that inspired her to write these lines years ago:

Now you'll sit on firm, straight back chairs.

Well at least you can still comb your hair.

No more sitting on the bottom of the tub.

Just stand on the floor and rub, rub, rub.

Five years and another knee replacement surgery later, Cassady has published 84 poems in her book "A Mother's Thoughts in Verse" (2005) - a 91-page testament to her self-described optimism and light-hearted outlook on life.

"I don't want to be a bitter person," said Cassady, 66, of Maugansville. "I want my life to count for something."


Cassady has three grown children - two daughters and one son - and six grandchildren. Over the years, she said her family and friends have provided ample material for poems, which Cassady would jot down in a notebook when the muse beckoned. Cassady has written about her mother, Etta Hylton; her seven brothers and three sisters; and life in Raleigh County, W.Va., were she grew up.

But it wasn't until years after her mother died in 1995 and family and friends were clearing out her mother's estate that Cassady decided to compile the poems and submit them to on-demand publisher PublishAmerica. "That's something I could leave behind for family and friends," Cassady said.

The book is available for $14.95 plus tax at Books 'n Things in Long Meadow Shopping Center. Cassady is currently working on a children's book about "Rangy," an orangutan that wanders away from home.

Art Space - an occasional Sunday feature - highlights accomplishments of area residents. To enter the Art Space, send a basic press release with a copy of your book or music to Art Space, Lifestyle, The Herald-Mail Co., P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, MD 21741.

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