I, as far as I knew, did not have a poetic bone in my body, although I always loved reading the stuff. Dimly, in a well-buried brain cell, I remember writing a nativity poem, in quatrains, many quatrains, for my parents. There was a drawing on the card, too. I cannot draw. But that was long, long ago and definitely far, far away.

In 1992, a miracle happened in the shape of the poet Jack [James, if you are Googling him] Penha, who arrived to teach English lit and Creative Writing, in my department. He was, and is, an internationally published writer. I was a brand new teacher not at all sure how one analysed a poem, never mind taught it. I asked whether I could attend his poetry writing semester in the hopes that if I knew what went into writing a poem, I would be able to analyse a poem. I was right.

Bonus: I discovered I had an ability to write poetry. I have been in thrall ever since. When I reached the point that I had only enough energy for one, teaching or writing, my husband said: “Okay. How about you retire from teaching.”. I suspect he had heart palpitations, as he said it.

So… I have reached that blissful stage referred to as retirement. I am now, as my mother warned me I would be, busier than I was teaching English lit in High School for twenty years.

We live in Atlanta, Georgia, where my husband teaches and I write and submit poetry and dream of  chapbooks. I also keep this blog, Wordgathering, where I post poem drafts, a weekly prompt, the occasional announcements, and a weekly round-up of prompts from the cyberworld. I can be found here at my blog, on Facebook, and, not so much, on Twitter [when I remember it’s there].






37 responses to “About

  1. revbillcook

    03/12/2010 at 8:20 pm

    I enjoy your blog. A lot here for anyone who loves language. I’m glad you bumped into my blog. I look forward to following yours. – bill

    • mroby

      03/12/2010 at 8:50 pm

      Thank you. I have to try and remember not to write too much, both so I don’t overwhelm and don’t run out. In a past life I taught and this gives me a touch of that. I love writing the blog.

  2. 1sojournal

    05/01/2011 at 10:51 pm

    Finally found you. Thanks for your visits to my site and all of your kind and encouraging words. I’m bookmarking your site so I can come back at my liesure and spend some time browsing. From what I have already seen, I’m sure I will enjoy myself. Thanks again,


    • mroby

      06/01/2011 at 8:15 am

      I am glad you found me! And, glad you will come back. Your poetry has given me so much pleasure.


  3. Joseph.E.Rakowski

    15/02/2011 at 8:49 am

    I just started my blog yesterday and I am glad I ran into yours, it seems a lot of people follow. I just started writing poetry this last year and am looking for any places to find writers like me.
    Thanks Again.

    • margo roby

      15/02/2011 at 8:54 am

      Welcome! I only started the blog in the last few months. Tuesdays are exercise days, Thursdays are more theory, Fridays are a roundup of other sites. If you have the time, wander back through. If you have questions, always feel free to ask.
      Something you might enjoy, if you haven’t heard of it is Writing Our Way Home, a writers’ network that started this month. It’s like Facebook for poets [and a few fiction writers]. It’s worth coming over and having a look:

  4. Renee Espriu

    04/06/2011 at 12:19 pm

    You’ve had many experiences that most will never have and that in itself will enrich your writing. I look forward to seeing what you have here in your site.

    • margo roby

      04/06/2011 at 1:52 pm

      Thank you, Renee. I am aware my life has been blessed in many areas, one of which is my living around the world. You are welcome always, to explore. If you have questions, please ask.

  5. Renee Espriu

    11/09/2011 at 1:38 pm

    Hi Margo, I am cuious as to why you do not write more poetry than you do. You refe to lots of other sites as prompts but unless I am missing something I am no finding your own writing and you have such a gift that I would like to see more.

  6. Donald Harbour

    03/02/2012 at 1:28 pm

    Margo, thanks for the comment. I always enjoy it when you visit the blog. I hope all is well with you.


  7. Peggy Goetz

    09/02/2012 at 3:38 pm

    Thanks for your comments on my response to your place poem prompt. What a treat to fly over the continent like that. We were on a ship out of Ushuaia, Argentina.

    Interesting that your mom lives in Walnut Creek. We moved from there to S California in 1963, when I was still in high school. I do remember it well — it is now little like it was back then in the 50s and early 60s. Our whole street became apartments about 1965 or so. I always found it very sad to revisit.

    Glad you find my name familiar as I have been hanging about the poetry blogosphere for a while now. I tend to get side-tracked with different sites but I do try to keep up my blog with new poems and photos.

    I live in S California now–we’ve been in this house since 1972. Both my husband and I are retired now. I figured I could call myself retired when he retired. At that point I quit doing freelance writing–the pay was hardly worth dealing with the magazine editors.

    Thank you again for your comments.

    Peggy Goetz

  8. Bob DiPasquale

    30/04/2012 at 12:33 pm

    Hi… The other day your blog was listing some fun writing exercises. I wanted to share our tasteful daily cartoon caption contest at where we put a number on how funny you are. Please consider sharing it also.

    • margo roby

      30/04/2012 at 2:30 pm

      Hi Bob. My focus is 98% poetry, but I will be happy to share the link to your site, on my Thursday announcements, as something that some of my readers might find fun [I’m terrible at captions but will enjoy reading them]. I will probably put it out on Thursday the 10th, as I have another site I wish to share which has to do with relaxing [sort of connected, yes?]. Thank you for stopping by.

  9. Josephine Faith Gibbs

    25/05/2012 at 2:26 pm

    Hi Margo! Just had to stop by and say hello. You remember all those chocolate days we used to have on Daily Gathering at Writing Our Way Home? Well, I finally got my hands on a bar of that Valrhona chocolate you recommended. Yup. It’s good. Very good. (Licks melty brown goo off fingers.)

    • margo roby

      25/05/2012 at 2:32 pm

      Josephine! I not only remember, I look for your name to go by in the messages saying who started the daily chat.

      I have missed you, and do miss you, but it took me a long time to get back to this point where I come here to my blog. I’m not sure when, if, I will come back to WOWH. I pay attention to my stress metre.

      After you lick the melty brown goo off your fingers, turn the aircon up, make some hot chocolate, and stir it with a bit of the Valrhona.

      It’s good to hear from you.


  10. eikenlaan

    15/01/2013 at 1:01 pm

    Margo, I have worked in Atlanta, in ING, A Dutch bank/insurance company. (Financial Sector) back in 2001 before 9/11. I returned to Amsterdam to the Head office after 9/11 and then a few years later relocated to ING in Dublin, Ireland. I stopped working aged 50, took early retirement as both children were flown the nest. I now live in Ireland and Germany due to my husband’s work but I loved Atlanta, loved the shopping there and the people too.
    I am very new to blogging and love WordPress as there is much more interaction compared to Blogger. I am trying to populate my 4 blogs on a regular basis – one a day at the moment as I don’t want to flood the system. Your blog is so professional – I will try to find my way so that a person can see my 4 blogs in the one at some stage!!
    Chat again soon 🙂

    • margo roby

      22/01/2013 at 9:15 am

      Maire, my apologies. I kept the inbox notification so I would not forget to get back to you, but the in between is a little longer than I planned.

      I know ING. I always enjoyed their ads, when we were in Jakarta. Congratulations on the retirement from your job. Have you noticed life is even busier?!

      I started with Blogger and moved to WordPress, which I LOVE. I have been blogging for two years now and remain excited and committed.

      I just wandered over to look at your poetry [I never remember to do that when something is in my reader]. I love today’s poem. Your imagery is lovely. The poem [odd, I wrote song] before certainly works, as I felt the emotion conveyed by the speaker.

      Good luck with your blogs. WordPress’ help section is very helpful.

  11. Music&Meaning

    21/01/2013 at 11:29 pm

    To the Attention of the Honorable Ms. Margo Roby: The Dragons of Grammar, after due and deliberate consideration, have decided to honor your blog and work (not to mention their creation) by inviting you to be crowned Queen of the Dragons of Grammar for a year. The duties involved are negligible, save for your attendance (at least in spirit) at a Coronation Tea to be held some time in the next few days (that is, dragon days, which lengthen and shorten at the whim of a certain blogger who calls himself The Rag Tree). Much fun and silliness for all is anticipated; but should you decline, the DoGs will certainly understand. And, of course, they promise to be on their *best* behavior during the ceremony!!! RT

  12. Music&Meaning

    21/01/2013 at 11:32 pm

    margo: silly DoGs, they forgot to mention that the Coronation Tea will be held in the form of a post… RT

    • margo roby

      22/01/2013 at 7:18 am

      Decline? Decline! Good Heavens, I accept. Queen of the Dragons of Grammar, [note subtle, but important, use of comma after Grammar], and tea. This dragon is honoured and looks forward to much fun and silliness.

      And, here I was wondering what on earth I was going to wear. You are a light in my life.

  13. Music&Meaning

    03/04/2013 at 6:11 pm

    Ms. Roby: The Dragons of Grammar are writing to thank you for your attendance at the Coronation Tea-Party and to say that they were most impressed by your impeccable and gracious behavior. Sorry again for the delay in getting the tea party together! RT

  14. margo roby

    04/04/2013 at 7:40 am

    RT: I don’t remember an afternoon when I have had more fun. I thank you for this signal honour.


  15. Michele D'Acosta

    30/04/2013 at 2:05 pm

    Margo, I just came across your blog. You sound wonderful! I look forward to following you on your wandering poetic path. Peace and be very blessed. Michele

    • margo roby

      30/04/2013 at 2:09 pm

      Michele, thank you for your lovely comment. I am over here, looking at your blog [thanks to the wonders of WordPress]. I look forward to seeing more of you here and at my place.


      • Michele D'Acosta

        30/04/2013 at 2:20 pm

        Margo, you’re most welcome. Thank you for popping by for a visit. Let’s have a cup of cyber tea together! Hope you enjoy what you find at my place. I know I’m going to enjoy visiting your special place in WordPress heaven 🙂 m

        • margo roby

          30/04/2013 at 2:38 pm

          Deal on the tea. Michele, look at my Friday posting this week and let me know if I may post your Friday challenges with the others. I don’t know how you feel about a slightly wider audience [really only slightly]. I know it can get to be a bit much sometimes. m

          • Michele D'Acosta

            30/04/2013 at 2:47 pm

            Great news on the tea, I’ll put the kettle on… I’d be delighted to look at your Friday challenges and will get back to you with my thoughts. Thank you. m

          • Michele D'Acosta

            30/04/2013 at 2:50 pm

            Just checked out your blog again. Would you be so kind as to point me in the direction of a specific post re Friday challenges. m

  16. Thom Hickey

    10/09/2014 at 2:16 am

    Thanks Margo. Pleased to have found your blog and I look forward to lots of reading here. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox (drop a nickel).

  17. Tokoni O. Uti

    15/01/2015 at 9:30 am

    I’m Tokoni, A student and poet. Its nice to meet your I’d like to invite you to my blog, if you’re interested. Also, I wanted to ask if you’d be kind enough to please repost this comment on another wordpress users about page comment box as I’m trying to spread the word about my blog. Thanks!

    • margo roby

      15/01/2015 at 9:40 am

      Thank you for the invitation, Tokoni (such a musical name). I appreciate your visit. I don’t think I feel comfortable telling my readers to visit, but what I can do, sometime, is use one of your posts as a prompt.

  18. J Lapis

    24/09/2015 at 6:06 pm

    Gotta love a high school English Lit teacher!! And that moment when you realize you’re a poet is indeed enthralling. Mine came as a gift from my high school English teacher–the day he told me I had true talent, he put a candle in my hands which has saved my life many times over. Best wishes to you.

    • margo roby

      25/09/2015 at 8:36 am

      Why thank you! I know exactly what you mean. May poetry continue to give you light.


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