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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Poet puts pen to paper to share his thoughts and to help others

Sunday, March 3, 2002

Ted Armes is pictured with a book of his writings.
SIKESTON - What started as an escape from the horrors of the war has turned out to be a hobby that has earned a Sikeston man much recognition.

Ted Armes' early writings were a mixture of feelings, from fear to loneliness but he found putting it in words was therapeutic.

"To tell you the truth the first poem I wrote about war after World War II and the Korean War was to help get some of it out. I wanted to win the war, not let the war defeat me and one of the best ways that I've ever seen is to just get it out and share."

Today, the 76-year-old has authored over 100 writings ranging from serious topics to personal experiences to humor. He attributes his ability to come up with such a variety to an active mind, which as his wife, Wilma, quickly pointed out, got him into trouble more than once when he was in school.

"She says I don't ever let my mind rest," he chuckled, glancing over at her.

Armes has had many of his poems, manuscripts, and other writings published in books, cassettes, CDs, wallet cards and even on greeting cards. Recently he was nominated for Poet of the Year by Poetry.com and Famouspoets.com.

In March, he is invited to join poets from over 50 nations at an International Society of Poetry meeting in Orlando, Fla. In September, Famouspoets has requested he attend a gathering in Reno, Nev.

"Really, that's not why I write them," he said with a shrug. "Fame or fortune doesn't really hold much with me, it's just sharing that might help others. As far as I know everything I've written has had a little thought or meaning behind it."

Although they share just about everything, Mrs. Armes doesn't have her husband's desire to write. "I don't know what I think about it. I could do with out it," she said, grinning.

But Armes quickly came to her defense, noting that her interests are their three children and eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild, in addition to helping other children.

He keeps all of his poems and writings in workbooks, jotting down the date and in many cases, what prompted him to write it. Admitting he's not much of a musician, he counts on his fingers to make sure the poem have rhythm. He said he can complete about two poems in an hour or an hour and a half and has learned keeping them down to 20 lines is more economical, as more than that will cost extra at some publishing companies.

Armes said it takes patience and diligence to become a published writer and encourages those interested not to give up. He'll even give a few tips to those serious about it.

"If anyone wants to sit down real patient and go over it, I think within an hour I can give them the basics of how to put the words together. And if someone wants me to write something for them for a special occasion or something, I can do it. If I don't already have one like they're looking for, I will write one for them.

"We'll, he surmised, "the mind's got to good be for something."