The White Porch: A Journey From Child to Woman
The poetry of Cathy Song is a flowing collection of soft spoken and colorful imagery. She gently weaves her thoughts into an imaginative yet graceful story that has an overall sensual tone to it. Cathy invites the reader into her personal sanctuary of memories. She allows the reader to share in some of her most personal and critical moments in life. Some may think these things mundane but, when reading her poetry you can feel how utterly important they are to her. This can be evidenced in her poem The White Porch. Cathy uses this poem to allow the reader to participate in that moment of a woman’s life when she realizes that she is no longer a child.
To understand her writings, we must understand the woman she is. When you read her poetry, you sense a quiet tone and a deep seated loyalty to family. Cathy was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 20, 1955, the middle of three children (Sato). Her father was a commercial pilot which enable her family to travel extensively and live a fairly middle class life. This ability to travel feed her desire to write. She became an avid family historian at an early age. One reviewer in Poetry reported "She sees the present moment as potential memory, the latest addition to the palimpsest that is the past." (Wikipedia)
Her need to chronicle her family history may stem from the interesting journey taken by her grandparents as they embarked on the American Dream. Her grandfather was among the first wave of immigrants from Korea and her grandmother, a picture-bride, part of an arranged marriage was from China (Sato). Song uses many themes in her poetry that are based on her grandparents and their experiences.
As she entered into Wellesley College in Boston, her writing seemed to flourish. She earned a Bachelor’s in English literature in 1977 and then completed a Master’s at Boston University in 1981.(Wikipedia) While living in Boston, she attended an advanced writing...
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