Leanne
#1
Leanne has been absent from the site struggling with cancer. I got the sad news that she passed away on June 13, 2019. I wanted to make sure you all knew.

I will miss her.

Todd

This is Leanne's Thread. Speak to her, ask her questions and someone will contact her and get back to you.
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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#2
Shocking news, Todd
She will be terribly missed by all

Edit: Leanne was the first person I meaningfully interacted with on the Pen. It was on her poem about Oscar Wilde.
Much of what's useful on the site is because of her. The Poetry Practice Exercises are an example.

Leanne didn’t write a great deal in the last 3 odd years on the Pen, but when she did it was always brilliant. An example is her poem on the picture of Christ risen from NaPM 2017.
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#3
No kidding
Peanut butter honey banana sandwiches
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#4
No words can do any justice.

I'll miss you, Leanne Sad
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#5
Shocked  Sad
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#6
(06-15-2019, 12:44 AM)Todd Wrote:  Leanne has been absent from the site struggling with cancer. I got the sad news that she passed away on June 13, 2019. I wanted to make sure you all knew.

I will miss her.

Todd

Todd

I am so glad you posted this with the tact and grace that I knew I could not.  I am both saddened and shocked.  I know that I am best off saying nothing in situations like this and I read your facebook post with the same awe and respect I have now for your tact and grace.  Sadly, i cannot show the restraint you have.

I loved Leanne - in the only way someone can love someone they have never met.  i loved her mind and her wit. I loved her writing.  i loved her humor and her talent.  i loved how she could laugh and play with only words.  I loved how she loved to fight.  I read she had cancer maybe 6 months ago and I tried to silently send her all the strength I could - both feeling a cold pit inside me and knowing she would beat it.  She was so strong.

I need to speak just a minute to those who knew her - not for her or for them, but for me, to celebrate her life and all she brought.

Most knew Leanne as a teacher and a nourisher -because she was.  But she had a playful streak as well, and many nights she would play with her words, both in chats and in poems.  God, I just realized that i will never see that again and there is a space in my life that I know will remain unfilled by any other.

I will share my favorite story of her because it reminds me of everything I loved about her.  

I was having a rough patch.  Work was mundane and long and difficult and not really bringing me any joy.  And . . . there wasn't really a lot else going on.  We were chatting.  Random stuff. Poetry, the site.  Killing time.  She sensed it.  She was busy as well.  "Write me a poem," i wrote.

I have never asked anyone in my life to write me a poem.  It is a stupid request.  No one writes anything good on demand and she didn't know me and was busy and a world away.

"What subject?" - she wrote back

"I don't care," I said, "anything but the drudgery of work.  Something with magic, elves, dragons, something fey."

"I have to make dinner and finish this glass of wine first," she said, "give me 10 minutes."

The resulting poem, "Fey" became our own private joke for years because as far as i know, she never told any the origin.  In my mind, it was always about the two of us - children, playing.

I am not trying to make this about me so please do not take it this way.  It is about Leanne - a healer, a writer, a teacher.  I will always love her.  I don't have any other way of sharing it than the poem:

Fey

It nestles in the elbow of the breeze,
this faerie dance, this seeded chance we spin
from gossamer; these minuets begin
when bubbles burst on tongues in cherry trees. 
You bloom for me and I recall the knees
we skinned on bark, and how your sister’s shin
left codeine stripes upon the branch, her thin
and frightened cry, your soothing words, the bees.

The summer fades in sepia and stone.
Today you shrug the honey from my hand
and crack protesting knees in heavy tread
as bubbles sit in dishwater, unblown
and yesterday slinks further from the land –
but in the sun, the cherries still glow red.

-Leanne Hanson
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#7
Leanne chronicled her condition a few months ago: https://medium.com/@leannehanson
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#8
That really sucks. Condolences.
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#9
Bye, Leanne. See you some other place, some other time. <3
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#10
Absent but not absolutely
Absent but not forgotten
Absent poetic diction
To finish
This.
Looking for a problem in writing? Won't find one.
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#11
.
To all who have lost a friend, my condolences.
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#12
A fierce woman and gifted poet. A poignant loss.
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#13
i just got home from hospital after 4 day to see the news.; haven't stopped crying yet. she helped get the site up and running and never stood down from anything. she was truly the most gifted poet i know and i am happy i knew her. i think some will see it as being silly to say i love someone i never met, but i did meet her, i met her every time she posted or put up a poem. thanks todd for telling everyone about her. and thanks milo for sharing something personal about her. she will be missed and i also love her. more than i can say. thanks leanne xxx


(06-15-2019, 10:20 AM)milo Wrote:  
(06-15-2019, 12:44 AM)Todd Wrote:  Leanne has been absent from the site struggling with cancer. I got the sad news that she passed away on June 13, 2019. I wanted to make sure you all knew.

I will miss her.

Todd
Todd

I am so glad you posted this with the tact and grace that I knew I could not.  I am both saddened and shocked.  I know that I am best off saying nothing in situations like this and I read your facebook post with the same awe and respect I have now for your tact and grace.  Sadly, i cannot show the restraint you have.

I loved Leanne - in the only way someone can love someone they have never met.  i loved her mind and her wit. I loved her writing.  i loved her humor and her talent.  i loved how she could laugh and play with only words.  I loved how she loved to fight.  I read she had cancer maybe 6 months ago and I tried to silently send her all the strength I could - both feeling a cold pit inside me and knowing she would beat it.  She was so strong.

I need to speak just a minute to those who knew her - not for her or for them, but for me, to celebrate her life and all she brought.

Most knew Leanne as a teacher and a nourisher -because she was.  But she had a playful streak as well, and many nights she would play with her words, both in chats and in poems.  God, I just realized that i will never see that again and there is a space in my life that I know will remain unfilled by any other.

I will share my favorite story of her because it reminds me of everything I loved about her.  

I was having a rough patch.  Work was mundane and long and difficult and not really bringing me any joy.  And . . . there wasn't really a lot else going on.  We were chatting.  Random stuff. Poetry, the site.  Killing time.  She sensed it.  She was busy as well.  "Write me a poem," i wrote.

I have never asked anyone in my life to write me a poem.  It is a stupid request.  No one writes anything good on demand and she didn't know me and was busy and a world away.

"What subject?" - she wrote back

"I don't care," I said, "anything but the drudgery of work.  Something with magic, elves, dragons, something fey."

"I have to make dinner and finish this glass of wine first," she said, "give me 10 minutes."

The resulting poem, "Fey" became our own private joke for years because as far as i know, she never told any the origin.  In my mind, it was always about the two of us - children, playing.

I am not trying to make this about me so please do not take it this way.  It is about Leanne - a healer, a writer, a teacher.  I will always love her.  I don't have any other way of sharing it than the poem:

Fey

It nestles in the elbow of the breeze,
this faerie dance, this seeded chance we spin
from gossamer; these minuets begin
when bubbles burst on tongues in cherry trees. 
You bloom for me and I recall the knees
we skinned on bark, and how your sister’s shin
left codeine stripes upon the branch, her thin
and frightened cry, your soothing words, the bees.

The summer fades in sepia and stone.
Today you shrug the honey from my hand
and crack protesting knees in heavy tread
as bubbles sit in dishwater, unblown
and yesterday slinks further from the land –
but in the sun, the cherries still glow red.

-Leanne Hanson
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#14
Wow!  I just saw this.  I had no idea.  No, I didn't personally know her, but here on this forum, I loved her mind, her beautiful poems, her poetic knowledge, her wit and wisdom, even her sardonic impatience with self-righteous blowhards (maybe especially that Smile ).  She was perhaps the chief reason I kept checking into this site.  Amongst a few others, I always read what she wrote and had to say.  I wondered why she hadn't posted as much of late.

Damn. 

I fancied a few times that I would have liked her and had a good old time had we met in person for a few drinks and a chat (no creep intended).  

I'm really sad to hear of this for these reasons and more.  Just am.

Wow...I keep forgetting that death really happens.
You can't hate me more than I hate myself.  I win.

"When the spirit of justice eloped on the wings
Of a quivering vibrato's bittersweet sting."

feedback award
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#15
The world has just lost some of its shine, along with everyone else I will miss her.
Oh what a wicket web we weave!
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#16
Some people are so special, Leanne was more than that, I will miss her immensely.

If your undies fer you've been smoking through em, don't peg em out
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#17
I have had this in my drafts.  It never feels like the right time.  The words never quite feel ready.
——-

I don’t know what to say.  Shock only seems to pave the way to denial.  I keep editing and changing the words, but they never seem to get it right.  I haven’t been able to bring myself to post them out in the open.  These words shouldn’t have to exist at all.  There should never have been occasion to use them.

I thought she was like Athena, magical, wise, and fierce, defending us all with her glittering word-sword.  Whenever there was trouble, she would roll her words into electric balls of fury, barbed with wit and humor. She was the oncoming storm, the thrill of a change in the wind when the sky grows dark and there is a rumble in the distance.  It was breathtaking.  So many times she made me feel safe, protected.

How is it possible for a person to play with words so easily? She made poetry look effortless and the words never failed to be gorgeous and potent and layered with meaning.

And yet, she was kind, gentle and wise, a teacher through and through.  When I first joined the site, I felt like I was constantly stepping on toes and bumping into walls, and it was almost too much and I was going to run away.  I did run away for a while.  She spoke to me in private and gave me words of encouragement and advice.  She always seemed to know when I was feeling wobbly and would say or do something to make the world go right again.

Nothing I say here seems enough or right. But she meant something to me, more than she probably realized. 
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#18
(07-15-2019, 08:54 AM)Quixilated Wrote:  I have had this in my drafts.  It never feels like the right time.  The words never quite feel ready.
——-

I don’t know what to say.  Shock only seems to pave the way to denial.  I keep editing and changing the words, but they never seem to get it right.  I haven’t been able to bring myself to post them out in the open.  These words shouldn’t have to exist at all.  There should never have been occasion to use them.

I thought she was like Athena, magical, wise, and fierce, defending us all with her glittering word-sword.  Whenever there was trouble, she would roll her words into electric balls of fury, barbed with wit and humor. She was the oncoming storm, the thrill of a change in the wind when the sky grows dark and there is a rumble in the distance.  It was breathtaking.  So many times she made me feel safe, protected.

How is it possible for a person to play with words so easily? She made poetry look effortless and the words never failed to be gorgeous and potent and layered with meaning.

And yet, she was kind, gentle and wise, a teacher through and through.  When I first joined the site, I felt like I was constantly stepping on toes and bumping into walls, and it was almost too much and I was going to run away.  I did run away for a while.  She spoke to me in private and gave me words of encouragement and advice.  She always seemed to know when I was feeling wobbly and would say or do something to make the world go right again.

Nothing I say here seems enough or right. But she meant something to me, more than she probably realized. 

I am a very infrequent visitor to the Pig, now, but kept in touch with Leanne over email etc, and followed her site.  Like Quixilated, I have been unable to write a thing here or elsewhere. I knew about her condition, and how the treatment was going, and even chided her for being so chirpy, at one point. Also, like Quixilated, by an extraordinary coincidence, I told her that while my prayers would probably be counter-productive, I would compose a prayer to Athene, which would sort out all her problems. 

I am so touched by everything that Milo, Billy Todd and others have said. She was a poet of a high order, but also of a low, doggerel like order when the fit was on her. She was stern in keeping the site free of trolls and the like, but a peace-maker when she saw some debate (mea culpa) showing signs of turning sour. Some of the quick repartee she used actually did catch me off my guard, and make me laugh out loud.  

I think she had had a rough time, but happily met her partner- husband, at the very end - Grant, and experienced great joy and fulfilment, even if, as she claimed, he ( a fervent Celtic supporter), suspected her of secreting somewhere, the blue colours of Rangers, their bitter rivals in the Glasgow 'Old Firm' derby. She flourished here, and with poetry generally, with her children, and then her enthusiasm for teaching. 

If only some monument could be made for her! She deserved, I thought, a world-wide recognition for her poetry. We probably each have our favourites. Mine was the one telling of the old soldier who had fought in the East, and simply could not bring himself to go and enjoy the wonderful Japanese garden which had been created. That and... well, no. I must call a halt. I shall miss her v much, and now, I shall never be able to ask about how she came to know Scottish Gaelic -- she, a descendant of 'first-fleeters' on either side? Nor her considered opinion about double hyphens. 

If only I had finished the prayer to Athene! Good-bye my friend.  I hope the celestial whisky is up to scratch, if not, maybe try a single malt nectar?
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#19
hi Abu, good to see you post, it would make her have a drink Big Grin after reading it i'm sure she'll order another bottle to sup while watching the rangers celtic re-runs. we can't build a monument to her greatness but after much thought we decided to dedicate this thread through a link at the top of the home page by lighting her name up in blue. hopefully while this site is here, she'll also be here. For the longest of times she directed the site a moulded it in her image. she was the powerhouse that made us run. in essence she was a stereotypical villain. she'd hand out lollypops while holding you hostage with her ideas on how the world should be run. the love she had for her students was immeasurable as was her love of poetry.
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#20
(07-18-2019, 12:23 PM)billy Wrote:  hi Abu, good to see you post, it would make her have a drink Big Grin after reading it i'm sure she'll order another bottle to sup while watching the rangers celtic re-runs. we can't build a monument to her greatness but after much thought we decided to dedicate this thread through a link at the top of the home page by lighting her name up in blue. hopefully while this site is here, she'll also be here. For the longest of times she directed the site a moulded it in her image. she was the powerhouse that made us run. in essence she was a stereotypical villain. she'd hand out lollypops while holding you hostage with her ideas on how the world should be run. the love she had for her students was immeasurable as was her love of poetry.

Billy, I realise that she was v influential and active behind the scenes at the site, as well as setting the 'tone'.  It seems that, as difficult as I found it to write a scrap about her, like you, when I do, I cannot do so without some humour creeping in, and I think that says much for her. 

One of the things which was so refreshing with her, was that one could never be sure that she would think this or that, or support such and such-- but one could be sure of something different, another perspective, and all interlaced with wit. When my wife died, she left a note for me and the family ''Never do something because Mum would have wanted it because 1. You do not know what I might have wanted; and 2. because I might have been wrong''  I think that applies to Leanne also. So I may sneak back and go back to my inverted archaisms....  I have been reading so much of her. I see many stalwarts are still here -- and hope you carry it on.  E
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