Tribune Print Share Text

‘Born a poet’

Brooksby resident Ed Locke pours his thoughts into poetry

Created date

April 16th, 2015
Ed Locke has spent a lifetime writing poetry. He donated five volumes of his work to the Brooksby library.
Ed Locke has spent a lifetime writing poetry. He d

Ed Locke began crafting poems as soon as he could write.

“When I was about six years old, my oldest sister and I decided to each write a poem,” says Ed. “I like to tell people that she never wrote another poem, and I never stopped.”

Ed, a retired librarian whose most recent position was director of the Milton Public Library in Milton, Mass., has a passion for the written word.

“My official job was a librarian, but my primary interest in life has always been literature, particularly poetry,” he says.

As Ed’s interest in writing poetry grew, his father asked him why he didn’t write novels instead.

“I think I was just born a poet,” says Ed. “Whatever draws you is like breathing—you just do it.”

Inspiration is all around

Ed’s love of literature followed him to New York University, where he earned a master’s degree in English literature, and Columbia University, where he earned a master’s degree in library service. Through it all, he continued to write poetry.

“My inspiration comes from anything and everything,” says Ed. “Although I’ve often joked there are really only two subjects—love and death.”

Ed’s poems have appeared in Poetry magazine, The Yale Review, The Georgia Review, other magazines, and a number of anthologies. He has also self-published five volumes of his poetry.

When it comes to choosing a format for a poem, Ed’s not afraid to try his hand at a variety of styles.

“Sometimes the style itself is so intriguing, it’s a reason to write a poem,” he says. “I want to see if I can write a good poem in that particular style.”

Making Brooksby home

In December 2012, Ed and his wife Janet moved to Erickson Living community in Peabody, Mass.

“We were looking at continuing care retirement communities on the north side of Boston because my wife’s family lives in the area,” says Ed.

The couple’s criteria for choosing a community included an apartment with a sunroom, flexible dining options, and plenty of activities for residents.

“We wanted an apartment with a sunroom because our home had a sunroom that we loved,” says Ed. “The Lancaster floor plan at Brooksby has a beautiful sunroom. We were also looking for a community with a variety of food offerings because Janet is a vegetarian. Brooksby had everything we wanted.”

Doing what he loves

Ed has taken an active role in community life, lending his talents in multiple arenas. His poems appear regularly in The Villager, a literary magazine written and produced monthly by residents.

He also teaches courses for the community’s Live and Learn educational series. To date, Ed has taught classes on philosophy, existentialism, literary criticism, the Romantic poets, and other literary topics.

Though his days are full, Ed continues to write poetry.

“My inspiration still comes from all manner of subjects,” says Ed. “I recently wrote a poem about the miniature North Pole Village that [Brooksby residents] Joan Pappalardo and John Murphy set up in Joan’s apartment during the holidays. Poetry is my way of relating to the world around me.”