Finding Her Here

Book cover

“I am becoming the woman I’ve wanted, grey at the temples, soft body, delighted, cracked up by life, with a laugh that’s known bitter but, past it, got better, knows she’s a survivor – that whatever comes, she can outlast it.  I am becoming a deep weathered basket.

” I am becoming the woman I’ve longed for,  the motherly lover with arms strong and tender, the growing up daughter who blushes surprises.  I am becoming full moons and  sunrises.

“I find her becoming, this woman I’ve wanted, who knows she’ll encompass, who knows she’s sufficient, knows where she is going and travels with passion.  Who remembers she’s precious, but knows she’s not scarce – who knows she is plenty, plenty to share.”

I have quoted from this poem by Jayne Relaford Brown before .  And it really speaks to me and says it all for me.  It is published in “I am Becoming the Woman I’ve Wanted” a book that was bought for me by my late husband.  He certainly knew how to choose the right books (or push the right buttons perhaps, or even knew me better than I knew myself).

Anyway, I know very little about this woman who has written about me as if she knows me.

I have found out that she received an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in Creative Writing from San Diego State  University and teaches writing at Penn State University Berks-Lehigh Valley College where she is also a Senior lecturer in English.   In addition, she teaches composition, creative writing and advanced non fiction courses.

Her poem, “Finding Her Here,” is  distributed as a poster by Syracuse Cultural Workers.  It has been translated into Mandarin, Russian and Spanish.

I really would like to know more about her.  Can anybody help please.


29 responses to “Finding Her Here

  1. What a great poem.


  2. Sorry, Judith, I’d never heard about her before. Thanks for sharing, Sounds like someone I’d enjoy reading.


  3. Wonderful poem. Thank you for sharing it. I’ve never read it before. I’d love to read the book. I’m afraid I don’t know anything at all about the author.


  4. Thanks for sharing this, Judith, I’ll be looking for it.


  5. Wonderfully empowering extract. Thanks Judith


  6. Thank you for sharing such a lovely quote. In many ways, it summarizes much of what I’ve been thinking, feeling, and hoping for myself as I approach my 60th birthday.


    • I am constantly amazed when I find a poem or piece of writing that seems to encapsulate my life and where I am in the journey. Thanks for commenting and know that there is life after 60.


  7. jacquelincangro

    Jayne Relaford Brown is rather elusive, isn’t she? I couldn’t find much on her either. I tried searching on the Poets & Writers website but she wasn’t listed.
    Thanks for mentioning this poem. I’d never heard it before and it’s wonderful.


    • I went onto the website for Penn State and while she is listed there is nothing about her personally. So I hope one day I might find out about her. Meantime, I just enjoy her poetry.


  8. Like book cover. Reminds Matisse or Gauguin


    • Hi Carl. the cover art is “Blue Nude #2 by Anna Price-Oneglia and the cover design by Cynthia Heier. Thanks for drawing my attention to the cover and now I shall see what I can find out about the artist.


  9. Thanks for adding this to your blog… wonderful. 🙂


  10. Beautiful poem…I love it! I, too, have never heard of the author.


  11. This poem says so much to me and I love it too.


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  13. Thank you for the kind comments on “Finding Her Here.” I am alive and well and living in Pennsylvania, US. It’s so nice to know the poem has traveled and touched a chord in other women. You’ve made my day. Jayne


  14. Jayne, thank you so much for responding. i really do love that poem; it certainly struck a chord with me. I quote it often to women in my self confidence building courses,
    By the way I also alluded to it in a later post. Here is the link if you would like to read it –
    Again thank you for taking the time to respond. I am glad that you are alive and well and I trust you are living a happy life.



  15. Where can I purchase this poem with the image of the blue nude?


    • Hi Lori – the poem is in the book “I am becoming the woman I wanted” published by Double Day (I think as I have lent my copy to a friend). But I am sure you can get a copy through Amazon.


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  18. Mary Matthews

    Years ago I had a storage unit which was foreclosed on. Sadly, in my unit was “Finding her here”, on a large plaque which hung in my bedroom. Since I lost this precious piece, I’ve looked everywhere to try a purchase it again.

    Can anyone direct me to where I can buy this again?

    It would mean the world to me. Peace


    • I feel for you. I had a storage unit which was the subject of an arsonist’s craziness. All of my possessions were in it, and most damaged by water. I have never known of a plaque with the words, but hopefully someone else will be able to help.


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