16 November 2005
JSU Poet Randy Wilson Gets Published
By Leslie Gober
Jacksonville State University graduate student Randy Wilson recently received word that his poem "Pennies"
will be published by the League of American Poets in their forthcoming book, "A Treasury of American
"I was so excited when I opened the letter announcing I was getting published," said Wilson. "This is my first
time being published as a poet."
Wilson, a Jacksonville resident and native of Tifton, Ga., is pursuing a master's in liberal studies at JSU.
He serves as the president of the JSU Writers' Club and, as a graduate assistant, is assigned to the University
News Bureau as a staff writer. He received a bachelor's in history at JSU earlier this year.
The anthology includes poems from all over America that describe personal feelings such as patriotism,
courage, integrity, and friendship. The thought-provoking collection is "written by Americans for Americans."
According to Wilson, "The inspiration for my poem came from a comment I heard from my mother while watching TV. She said,
'That man is so crooked he could steal the pennies off a dead man's eyes.'"
Before modern medicine, pennies were used to keep a dead person's eyelids closed.
According to Teresa G. Starks, senior editor of the League of American Poets, having a poem approved for publication
is an accomplishment that signifies that the poet is an artist with the ability to put thoughts into words eloquently
enough to describe feelings.
"I thank my JSU creative writing instructor, Dr. Pitt Harding," said Wilson. "He helped me hone my limited poetic
Wilson plans to continue writing poetry in the future and is also working on his first novel.
His poem is presented here with permission:
The hunters were out at the break of day
Seeking the varmint who took them away
They held his eyes shut for the trek ahead
As he lay in his pine box of ill dread
Blues echoed the search near a black meadow
In their quest for one who's honor now was fallow
As his loved ones gathered by him to mourn
The grace of his passing now from them torn
A cold drizzle in the mid-morn did dance
The blast of shot snatched them from their trance
Announcing that the culprit had been had
A small grin creased the faces of the sad
The crime would only net for him but two cents
Hardly worth the value of life now spent
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