Nashua poet: 'I just like to play with words'
By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent |
February 06. 2014 7:44PM
NASHUA — Whether it is writing about getting old, neglected bills or weary moms, Stephen Scaer’s passion for light-hearted poetry is evident in his first book released last week.
After 12 years of writing poems, Scaer, a Nashua resident for about 20 years, has finally published his first book.
“Pumpkin Chucking,” a collection of about 50 poems, highlights the everyday occurrences and sometime tedious rhythms of life, but it also focuses on something of greater importance — family.
“I really wanted this book to entertain people,” said Scaer, a special education teacher at Pelham High School. “Honestly, I am probably the most boring guy in New Hampshire.”
Despite Scaer’s modest outlook on his own life, his poems are anything but ordinary. While many of them entail normal situations such as hiking a trail, a bag floating in the street, sand flying in your face or even losing hair, they all seem to have an underlying message that is not only humorous but enlightening.
“I absolutely love the craft of writing, but it is very hard to write a serious limerick,” said Scaer, who opts instead to focus on comical scenarios such as pumpkin chucking, an odd practice that has gained significant attention in New England.
Scaer describes his poem “Pumpkin Chucking,” which is also the title of his book, as a devilishly tricky poem. There is a unique beauty watching pumpkins fly quietly through the air all alone, but then they have such an odd and funny ending when they splatter on the ground without much fanfare or afterthought, according to Scaer.
“This is a hobby for me. I have never seen it as more than that,” Scaer said of his poems, many of which have been written while waiting in lines or waiting for events to begin. “I write automatically. I just like to play with words; it is that simple.”
Scaer describes his collection of poems as nursery rhymes for adults, which are not abstract and can be understood by just about anyone.
“My target audience is people who, as children, liked Mother Goose, ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’ or ‘Where the Sidewalk Ends,’ but lost their interest in poetry when it lacked rhythm, rhyme and it stopped making sense,” he said. “There’s a magic to the metrical forms that I hope will win people back to poetry.”
Scaer’s book was officially released on Jan. 30, published by Able Muse Press.
Scaer admits that he doesn’t write as often as he used to. When his children were younger, Scaer said, he wrote about a poem a day, but now he has time for about one poem per month.
With his first book wrapped up, Scaer is already working to create a second book of poems, which he says is about half finished.
“I love when the music of meter and rhyme stick in your head so you’ll always have a few lines of verse with you when you need them,” he added.
“Pumpkin Chucking” is available online at ablemusepress.com and amazon.com. Paperback and digital versions are also being sold at barnesandnoble.com.