Couplets: a multi-author poetry blog tour — Marty Smith

Marty Smith is a poet-artist who has studied at Ohio University under Walter Tevis, Daniel Keyes and Ãthelred Eldridge.  He believes “the artist vocation to be an expression of experience.”  He has traveled extensively, taken a variety of jobs and studied major religions from around the world, all to gain the experiences and knowledge he believes essential in assembling a “vision of life from numerous perspectives” so crucial to his poetic-artistic expression.

Today’s post includes a brief interview with Marty and a sampling of his art and poetry.


1. Where did your interest in writing originate? When did you know you had a passion for writing?

My interest in writing began in the 7th grade when I first got attention from my English teacher for some poems I wrote. I worked hard in university to write fiction, and continued to write poems for personal purpose and romance. During my final year at university I began to draw and paint and became serious about poetry. Though I lost all interest in fiction writing, I have become more passionate about the process of creating the past 3 years.

2. Do you read as much as you write? What book are you reading now?

I do not read books. I read newspapers and poetry blogs online.

3. What is your writing process?

I write often just for practice. When I am prompted by experience, I am pleased.  More often my mind stews on complex questions for some time until I paint my dissertation. The poetry I refine from the entire process.


by Marty Smith

4. What do you consider the best thing about writing? How about the worst?

The best thing is personal communication with my own nature. The worst thing is my fear over the disappearance of language as we know it.

5. What’s some writing advice you’ve received, that works for you?

I get mentoring from other poets on-line.  This keeps me growing in the forms of poetic expression that interest me.

6. What inspires you to write?

Everything…. Even boredom.


by Marty Smith

7. Out of all of our human senses what do you consider the most important one? How is that reflected in your writing?

I am mostly visually stimulated; it is even a distraction almost to obsession. I don’t consider any one most important. Everyone is different and experience is always completely unique. I read on occasion there may be more dimensions, and by inference I believe more senses as well. In that case the most important sense may be the ones we aren’t using. In my writing I focus on a time and place, to convey the sensory import, and the reader’s sense may be decidedly different.

8. After looking at your Facebook page, onecloud, it is clear that haiku and art are both important to you. Why haiku? How do your art and your writing interact?

poetry is my life work
the voice I hear
speaks to me in lyric prose
I could choose a psalmist verse form
experience and vision
is transposed into Haiku
to present a context for the work

by Marty Smith

on occasion I compose
a Haiku of a single purpose
as the form best lends itself
to perfectly tell a moment
the witness of a truth
the natural creation is the language
for the conversion of holy experience
into understanding

I will even imagine a waterfall
and elephants under it
some of my experiments
employ the supra-natural creation

spiritually it is a good choice of form for me
so in search of the dawning of peace
I will imagine my heaven

(from an essay about visual language Marty posted at onecloud)

9. What quote would you share that is a driving force for you, either personally or professionally?

I am not driven by any conventional measure, the focus of my work may be “AWAKE.”  It is just one word, but it is from William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience.


by Marty Smith

10. Who or what has been the greatest influence in your writing? Any favorite works?

I can’t say I have a favorite. I like a lot of poetry forms and painting. I think the greatest influence has been TV, movies, and newspapers.

11. Do you think writing poetry helps you to understand more about yourself and the world, or is advancing as a poet more about learning how to communicate the things you already know?

Both a bit. But mostly I hope I am writing and painting my message to the future. It is very difficult to write to your contemporaries I think.

12. It is National Poetry Writing Month. What does that mean to you?

It means you interview me. Well I am excited about it. I have never been interviewed for my poetry before.


Marty, thank you for this opportunity and for sharing your passion.  To end, here are two of my favorites by Marty:

spring wind sends my hat
more blocks than i can run
rolling on its rim

faded photograph, dad in his boat at full sail, always smiling

About T A Hillin-Smith

Just one of the literacy scholars on this site who wants to explore writing in all its complexities.
This entry was posted in Favorite Poems by Others, Haiku, Interesting Blogs, Poetry, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to Couplets: a multi-author poetry blog tour — Marty Smith

  1. Pingback: Quick post while traveling « Real Poetry

  2. lesliepaints says:

    Hi Yousei,
    What an absolutely beautiful post. Through the interview I was able to envision Marty with his newspaper, non-book reading self creating from his soul. There is a beautiful memory of strength and honesty and caring after reading this. I think that is what I will remember most that you have shared of this artist and poet. Thank you for making me aware of this post.

  3. Raven says:

    I cannot tell you how much pleasure this interview gave. Thank you to for the “One Cloud” Face Book page.

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  6. sanjuktaa says:

    Great interview, Yousei and fascinating art and even more fascinating answers from Marty Smith. This is the kind of interview i like to read.

  7. moondustwriter says:

    Yousei – that is a very nice interview
    I believe you will do many more
    So many talented and inspirational poets out there
    thank you for caring

  8. angie werren says:

    wonderful interview!
    I especially enjoyed your artwork, marty!

  9. brian miller says:

    nice…love the bit about mentoring as i think we do sharpen each other as we seek that out…and def agree on taking inspiration from every thing as well…i like the sampling of verse as well…

  10. ManicDdaily says:

    Good job on the interview. The combination of the pictures and poems is especially wonderful. K.

  11. Shawna says:

    This is my favorite response: “The best thing is personal communication with my own nature. The worst thing is my fear over the disappearance of language as we know it.”

    How can he not read books? That was surprising!

    • Yousei Hime says:

      I was a bit surprised by that as well, then I thought about his artistic philosophy. Marty prizes experience and knowledge above … I don’t know, entertainment? That’s not exactly right. Maybe he’d just rather broaden his knowledge base and keep his art grounded in current reality than spend time on the past. Of course, he did say William Blake had an influence on his work. No heavier Romantic writer than Blake. Given his strong attraction to/distraction by visual stimulus, not reading fiction isn’t too stunning. It’s just the unique creative soul he has. Right? Individuality, it’s what makes us all fascinating.

      • Shawna says:

        Indeed. And who we are today is not who we are tomorrow or yesterday. Perhaps he has been a reader in the past and now prefers to focus on first-hand experience. Thank you for sharing the interview; I enjoyed it.

        • Yousei Hime says:

          You’re absolutely right. I remember hating news, my father forcing me to watch Nixon’s resignation. Now the radio station I listen to the most is NPR, lots of talking and little music. Glad you enjoyed the interview.

          • Shawna says:

            Yuck. I don’t want anything to do with the news. 😉

            • Yousei Hime says:

              Yes…well NPR news tends to be a bit different, so I can tolerate it quite well. No TV for me though.

            • Shawna says:

              My TV watching consists of Everybody Loves Raymond, The Mentalist, Dexter, and The River. The last two aren’t even on at present. Have any suggestions? NPR. Bleck.

            • Yousei Hime says:

              Lol. My husband says the same thing about it. I really don’t watch much TV. I did HGTV for a while, then got over that (too inspired to clean). I enjoy Psych and Glee when I remember to watch them. Mostly I watch anime. You’re shocked, right?

            • Shawna says:

              Um, no. I am not shocked. 🙂

              I loved the first season of Glee. Never remember to watch it anymore. Same with plenty of other shows. I have trouble keeping my days straight, so it makes TV-watching difficult.

            • Yousei Hime says:

              Same here. Rather read and write anyway.

            • Shawna says:


              What are you reading these days? I’m going to do a post soon about the books I’m reading. I just don’t know which blog to post it on. People only ever read my poetry, and then only because it’s linked to some prompt. You are one of my few supporters.

            • Yousei Hime says:

              Readers will change over time. You visit a lot and your comments are very insightful. I haven’t been reading as much lately. The last thing I finished was Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore. I usually read a book in a few days. That one took me three months. I look forward to reading your post wherever you put it. Do you do Goodreads?

            • Shawna says:

              Come read my funny haiku sampling. 🙂

            • Yousei Hime says:

              Already pulled it up on a new tab. 😀

            • Shawna says:

              Should make you laugh.

    • marty smith says:

      thank you Shawna, I am happy you are surprised. I did take a two year intensive study of poetry and eng. lit, at ohio u in ’71& ’72. I have read interviews by other writers who say they don’t read while they a working on a book.

  12. claudia says:

    ha nice…a great interview…i always find it interesting to get a glimpse into a poets life and thoughts…smiled about the..Even boredom…as a source for inspiration…couldn’t agree more…there def. is inspiration in everything…smiles

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Thank you for reading. This may be the first interview I’ve ever done. I had fun putting the post together. Thank you for reading and sharing.

    • marty smith says:

      claudia, I am driven to write. but just short pieces. it is my response to everything, the way i process my experience.

  13. Semaphore says:

    Intriguing interview, and a number of interesting points. The selected poems are, themselves, perfect pieces to showcase. Thank you for sharing this.

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