Silvi, The Poetry Store poet, has been a writer all of her life. She’s always been fascinated with how words and images can be blended together. A huge fan of the Beat Generation poets of the ‘50s, Silvi got a typewriter for free and serendipitously found a writing desk on the street one day. Even though she had a full time job, she made a goal to sit and write for at least three minutes a day with a timer. Little poems trickled out, and soon she found herself pairing the poems with images and products on Zazzle. Silvi has written and sold thousands of poems throughout the Bay Area and beyond (including Antarctica!).
I’m deeply fascinated with the tiny moments of observation in life. With writing poetry, it’s all about creating art through words. When I get requests for poems, I try to meet people in the moment, the way they are asking to be seen. People often share intimate details with me and I’m honored that I can give them words for something they don’t know how to say. I find myself writing about subjects that people don’t always feel comfortable discussing outloud.
I get a lot of requests for poems and the two most popular topics are love and grief. These are the topics that people don’t know how to talk about and tend to be the most hushed. I strive to take these private moments and make them public. I love that other people find that my words resonate with their feelings and help make them feel less alone. My last series was about loss — I find that what I experience directly in my life influences what I produce in my work.
My typewriter also influences my work. With a typewriter, everything is tiny and close together — it forces you into an intimacy with words and images. It’s the same thing with grief. It forces you into an intimacy with yourself that you can’t have at any other time in your life. It’s hard to get away from yourself and you have to experience exactly what’s going on in the moment to survive the grief. My art has always been about healing, seeing people right where they are and offering something back. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
You’ll notice the frequent use of birds in my images — I gravitate toward birds and wings. Birds have the ability to feel grounded on land, yet free and fearless in flight. To me, birds are fearless and they don’t even know it. I believe that people were made to exist this way, but we often forget and let fear get in the way. As a poet, it’s hard not to look at something that flies without some awe and wonder.
I’m fascinated with subjects that inspire mystery and awe. With whales, it’s all about trying to understand a life that exists in a completely different world than what I can conceptualize in my mind. I’m an earth-bound creature — water and ocean are just not my thing. There’s a whole other world in which human beings don’t have access.