Steinbeck: A Meaning in a Life

Steinbeck: A Meaning in a Life

A Poem by Carlos Lorenzo Estrada
"

My tribute to a writer who lived in this same town of mine. A man whose art changed the world of his time, who inspires me.

"
Steinbeck: A Meaning in a Life

(Of Writers and Poets)

By  

Carlos Lorenzo Estrada 


There is a house I often come across
Like a Rockwell painting; nostalgic, time lost

Where a great writer once lived and dreamed
Stories of all seasons, emotions, and themes 

It wasn't a home of grand elegance 
Only one of significant relevance 

For a man as prolific as he
Revered for his tales and simplicity 

He captured the human condition
But more aptly the unfulfilled life in attrition 

The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men
Cannery Row, The East of Eden 

It is the former which holds such resonance 
Which speaks of our frailties in inheritance

In the shame or heart to forgive 
The lesser children of God that misgive

I am my mother's son
Imperfect like her, selfish, resentful, undone

This rage I carried for so long 
Has ebbed to a wave; somber and calm

I'm too old to hate
Broken down by the hands of this fate

Forever to linger "East of Eden" 
Absent all hope or absolution to believe in

Lost battles of sibling rivalry 
For misguided affections of patriarchy 

I am the Cain of Abel's death
Exiled wanderer; taker of breath

I will never know the comforts of love or home
I'm bound to this curse; forever alone.

© 2022 Carlos Lorenzo Estrada


Author's Note

Carlos Lorenzo Estrada
I find myself recently working at the Supreme Court of Monterey here in Salinas. A block away from the house where John Steinbeck lived. I like to consider myself a writer, perhaps not very good but I try. There is a sense of intimidation as well as reverence whenever I pass by this house. But lately I have found a more profound meaning from it. One that holds great significance in my life from a story that is too familiar to me personally. I truly believe that the greatness of Steinbeck is that he so eloquently captured the unfulfilled life in story. It is why his work resonates so personally to most readers. I am in awe of his legacy, and as a writer I'm envious but driven by the beauty of his art. Perhaps I see his home as the metaphorical idea of Eden. Forever elusive to my grasp as a common artist. But which allows me to dream to be better.

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Reviews

Like all people in life, there are the get-byers, the good, and the great. And then there is the greatest. --- I met a so-so writer, once, but he was the perfect pencil sharpener. Then they took his pencils away and they gave him pens to write with. I thought it sad until I recently saw some of his artwork, ah, wood carvings without rivals. There is nothing that can be taken from the great, but it is sad to thank that some never find their muse.

Posted 1 Week Ago


Carlos Lorenzo Estrada

5 Days Ago

I totally agree with you JE. To never at least attempt to allow the art within to breathe is such a .. read more
JE Falcon

3 Days Ago

Too True, my friend.
You know passing or even visiting a house where a great writer or poet lived and penned their famous works is such a privilege. I felt awe inspired when I visited the homes of John Keats and William Wordsworth. As to Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men is one of the finest reads and the film made me cry. Thank you Carlos for yiyrcwrutingvabdcwhere I travelled. Best wishes to you.

Chris

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


Chris Shaw

5 Days Ago

You have many here Carlos, waiting to read you. Please forgive my typos on the previous comment. My .. read more
Carlos Lorenzo Estrada

5 Days Ago

No need to apologize dear poet. I myself have a contentious relationship with technology. It's an u.. read more
Chris Shaw

5 Days Ago

Trying to keep the writing flowing Carlos. Not always easy as my muse likes her holidays :)
great write my friend
great respect & honor to one of the greatest writers!
i too am in awe of his writings ... it is no secret the reason movies followed his epic writings
THE GRAPES OF WRATH a most favored write ... Henry Ford did such as you in portrayal of the intention and depth to this story
John Steinbeck earned and deserves respect
(i really don't particularly like rhymning works but yours is exception ... on a private note ... i had no idea, zero idea, you worked at the Supreme Court of Monterey.
you my friend are full of surprises and deserve respect as well) !

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


Carlos Lorenzo Estrada

5 Days Ago

Thank you Keith you are too kind. I did a bit of temp work at the courthouse which I found to be suc.. read more
Carlos, this a wonderful poem and rich in the "human condition" as you aptly put it and as tribute to one of our most cherished writers.... I can not add to what has already been said below, but I think it great when we can shape our words in ways that takes what or who has inspired us, telling their story but making it our own from our own experiences.... your last line in your note reminds me of the Oscar Wilde quote; "we all live in the gutter, but some of us look to the stars".... this was far from a "common" poem by a "common" artist Carlos and a great dream to share with us....

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


Carlos Lorenzo Estrada

2 Weeks Ago

Thank you Curt for your comment on this poem. As a fan of your art as well it means a lot. I have .. read more
That’s so weird I’ve just added three of his books to read in my kindle app on phone this past few days. I’ve skimmed a few not sure which to read first
Love your poem it brought him closer

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


Carlos Lorenzo Estrada

2 Weeks Ago

Thank you Julie. Great writers like Steinbeck have that effect on us. Their work forever timeless r.. read more
Julie McCarthy (juliespenhere)

2 Weeks Ago

Hi thanks loved the comment back to me many thanks 🙏
"too old to hate" I understand that...indifference becomes the replacement.
I think this is so cool that you live in the town where Steinbeck did...and his house is still there.
Yes, I would feel reverence as well...and how you have felt the human condition that he so often wrote about in his works.
This is a really excellent tribute to him...and how you linked your life to his...
nicely done, Carlos.
j.

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


Carlos Lorenzo Estrada

2 Weeks Ago

Thank you J for sharing your thoughts with me on this poem. To me his home holds such reverence lik.. read more
Carlos , I like really like your poem and your passing experience of passing John Steinbeck’s home
I read his Grapes of Wrath , when a teenager , I dont think it really think left anything in my mind I needed
But I had bookie type friends raving about him , so I had to say , Yeh he’s cool , lol
Now I dont read much , just enjoy writing a poem , and sharing for a viewpoint
I used to write songs , but now I just stick to poetry , have a great week

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


Carlos Lorenzo Estrada

3 Weeks Ago

Thank you kindly Stuart for your comment. I really appreciate it. Growing up in Steinbeck country .. read more
Stuart Munro

3 Weeks Ago

Thank you Carlos , for your interesting reply , music for me is words in a box , I still write now a.. read more
This is a really fascinating write and I especially liked the penultimate stanza with exiled wanderer, taker of breath.
I wonder if all writers are the same: I know that Stephen King and Dean Koontz both say their characters tell them the story behind the what if.

Posted 3 Weeks Ago


Carlos Lorenzo Estrada

3 Weeks Ago

I'm such a fan of King and have been most of my life. For the most part I do agree with his assessme.. read more
W. Barrett Munn

3 Weeks Ago

You did a great job in depersonalizing a deeply felt personal story so that it can be read by those .. read more

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Added on July 17, 2022
Last Updated on July 17, 2022

Author

Carlos Lorenzo Estrada
Carlos Lorenzo Estrada

salinas , CA



About
If I can say something worth saying that makes just one person think about others...I'll try. The greatest storyteller was my grandmother. I miss her stories. more..

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