Men who are comfortable with their feelings are few and far between. And then there those who are willing to express those feelings, in poetry no less, that are even fewer and farther apart.
Lucky for those on the North Shore, we have one such man walking among us. His name is Barry Siegel. Barry has recently completed his second collection of poetry called Yellow Sun, Blue Moon.
“It’s the subtitle of my book that really tells the story,” explains Barry with so much joy, it seems his heart might burst. “‘A passionate, poetic journey of hope, connection, and love’—this is the essence of my book. In sharing my feelings, I think I’m showing people that we are more alike than we are different. We have these common experiences that bring us together.”
Barry found poetry in the middle of his life. Not formally trained in this craft, he finds writing to be a sanctuary for him, having written more than 900 poems since he first put pen to paper.
“I’m a passionate man,” he says. “A blessed man. And it’s going to sound corny, but I have to say it. If no one were to ever read a single word of my poetry, the journey [of writing it] would be no less sweet.”
One of Barry’s favorite poems from Yellow Sun, Blue Moon is called “November Moon,” a poem he read to the love of his life, Sheila, at their surprise wedding.
“We planned to have a party to celebrate my 60th birthday. We rented out Prairie Moon Restaurant. There was going to be drinking and dancing. The room was going to be filled with family and friends and tons of love. And I just got this idea that we should get married,” Barry says. “I only told one person, the woman I had invited to perform the ceremony. So at the party, I told everyone that I was going to read a poem. No one made anything of it—especially since I’ve been known to read a poem or two publicly before—until I got to the end and said ‘Marry me, now. Marry me, please.’ Thankfully Sheila said ‘yes’. It was an amazing moment.”
Something not to be missed in Barry’s book is his wife’s response to some of his writing. If you ask Barry, his wife’s words are at the heart of his collection.
“It’s wonderful to give love, but it’s something completely different and beautiful to feel it from someone else,” Barry says.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Barry will be reading excerpts from Yellow Sun, Blue Moon on Wednesday, February 4 at the Book Stall in Winnetka. To learn more about Barry and his work, you may visit his web site at www.barrysiegel.com.