By HEATHER SINCICH
Clyde Weeks Jr., an Orem resident, has published a book called “Raspberry Rimes & Vicarious Verses of a Mellow Mormon Bishop.”
The inspiration to write poetry came to Weeks as he sailed to Guadalcanal during World War II. He was serving in the United States Marines when he found Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “Sonnets From the Portuguese” on his naval ship. Since it was the only available reading, Weeks read and reread the sonnets and eventually memorized them.
As a 17-year-old, Weeks began writing his own sonnets and still writes them today. He uses Elizabeth Barrett Browning as his model and guide. He is influenced by Emily Dickinson’s poetry as well. Dickinson only had three poems published in her lifetime, but after her death a stack of her poems were found and then published. Dickinson’s pungent messages impact Weeks and inspires his work today.
Weeks writes about events in his life that move him in some way. The subject of his poems varies from Joseph Smith in Carthage Jail to the inauguration of Nelson Mandela.
“My rimes reach to reflect the cosmic colors of my life: from the leatherneck green uniform I wore as a young Marine in World War II, to the red, white and blue American flag which I raised at the Orem, Utah, Post Office for 40 years,” Weeks said.
A poem that discusses his neighbor who has Down syndrome reads,
“He is a lesson in his parents’ lives,
As, every day, he glistens and thrives.
Sometimes, with him, I feel profoundly awed”
The goal of Weeks writing is to “refine the thought process about events happening around them (the readers.)” Weeks also wrote, ” A Thousand Holy Temples in the Earth, ” which includes pictures of the 51 temples around the world. He also has a weekly column in the Orem Geneva Times where his poetry is featured.
Weeks served in a bishopric with Donny Osmond in a BYU ward. Weeks dedicated a poem to Donny Osmond and his wife. In the forward of ” Raspberry Rimes and Vicarious Verses of a Mellow Mormon Bishop,” Osmond said, ” I believe this book really has the potential to become a modern-day classic.”
Weeks plans on writing more poems and getting them published. Weeks said, “I look back, gratefully, on a most fulfilling life: favored by family and friends, mellowed by music, refined by religion, sweetened by service, blessed by beauty and lavished by love.”