Real life inspires young author's writing

January 12, 2012|By Crystal Schelle |
  • Simone Le Ann Byrd has published, "It Would Be Wise Not to Ask for Lemons," a collection of poetry, random thoughts and drawings.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff photographer

The title of Simone Le Ann Byrd's recent book of poetry, artwork and random thoughts, "It Would Be Wise Not to Ask for Lemons" is more than a poem, it's a suggestion.

"I got the title at a restaurant I used to work at where nobody washed the lemons before putting them in people's water," Byrd said laughingly during a telephone interview.

In fact, real life has inspired all of the poetry and random thoughts found nestled among the drawings by Byrd herself. The book, which is under her pen name of Simone Le Ann, has about 80 poems in the 100 pages.

"I've been writing pretty much my whole life," said Byrd, 22. "Ever since I can remember, my sister, brother and I would used to put together fake bands and I would write the songs."

For about nine years, Byrd has been writing away in notebooks, trying to capture her feelings on paper. During that time she had thought she should put together a book. Finally last year, Byrd took the time to go through what she estimates to be "hundreds of notebooks" to find the poems and thoughts she selected for the book.

"It took a little time to go through and pick which ones I really wanted in (the book)," she said. "I just think it's a good mix of happiness and sadness."

Poetry has always been something that has been a favorite form of expression for Byrd.

"I feel like poetry is the easiest thing for me to write," she said. "You don't have to have a storyboard or characters, it's just mostly from my own experiences."

One of her favorite poems came out of one of her most difficult times. The poem was written years ago for art therapy while she was a patient at Brook Lane.

 "It's a complete regurgitation of everything I felt when I went there — how I was going to start over and how I wasn't going to feel so sad anymore," she said. "I am really proud of that one."

Byrd said when people read her work, she hopes that it gives her or him a sense of peace.

"I want them to know it's OK to feel a lot of different things at the same time," she said. "I don't want them to think that they're crazy because a lot of people feel like that."

Byrd is looking toward the future. She's newly married to husband Jonathan with whom she lives in Hagerstown. She balances two jobs — one at a used book store, the other at an antique shop — but has plans of going back to school to major in interior design.

She said poetry has continued to be cathartic for her, and she finds that same feeling every time she writes.

"I feel there's a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders," she said. "It's like you're screaming at someone to tell them what you're thinking or feeling, but yet they're not actually there. I feel like I've gotten to say things to people that I never actually did, but I did through poetry."

About the book

Author: Simone Le Ann

Title: "It Would Be Wise Not to Ask for Lemons"

Genre: Poetry

Pages: 100 pages

Price: $9.99, plus shipping


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