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Hazel Maness has been writing poetry for years. But she never dreamed that one day one of her poems would be set to music and recorded by a well-known country-western singer.

That's exactly what happened this year when Maness submitted one of her poems to the Nashville Songwriters Service. The organization liked the poem, titled ``No One,' so much they set it to music and had it recorded by country singer Dottie West.Although Maness had frequently put her thoughts and feelings down in poetry, she didn't take her literary talents seriously until last February, when her mother, Vera Marley Garner, died. To help assuage her grief and reaffirm her religious faith, Maness wrote a poem about her mother titled ``Love to Mother.'

``I've got a notebook full of poems, but I didn't send them anywhere to see if I was good enough until after Mama died,' said the lifelong resident of the Coleridge area.

Wondering what the literary world would think of her poetic efforts, Maness sent ``Love to Mother' off to the World of Poetry in Sacramento, Calif. World of Poetry responded by giving Maness a Golden Poet Award for her poem.

Inspired by thwriting ability as a gift from God.

``When I'm sitting at my typewriter everything is so simple to me in life and I just feel so powerful that the Lord give me the talent to do this,' she explained. ``I think it's a great talent that I can sit down and write. I just wish I could sing! Archie keeps telling me, 'Honey, you can't have everything.' '

Maness says her only regret is that her mother did not live to see her daughter's poetry published.

``After she passed away is when I really set down to business,' Maness said. ``She would have been so proud.'


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