For poetry Thursday this week, we are doing a meme. This is where you answer questions. So, here goes..
1. The first poem I remember reading/hearing/reacting to was…
When I was little, I was my mamau’s favorite. She took me with her everywhere, like her little mini-me. She took me to church. She was Freewill Baptist, which meant that there was a lot of shouting-red-faced-pastors. Church was a little scary. One day, though, they read the beatitudes, aloud. There was something about the repetition, the soulful way that the congregation chanted it. That was the first poem to really touch me.
2. I was forced to memorize “Ickle me, pickle me, tickle me, too” by Shel Silverstien in the second grade and I loved it. It really helped me with my memorization.
3. I read poetry because it make me think. Because I need a frame work for this chaotic world. Because it is beautiful. Because I have seen too much sadness and despair. Because I want to be a better writer and I am looking for ways to get better. Because I love everything and everyone.
4. A poem I’m likely to think about when asked my favorite poem is…
God, there are so many. I’ve always loved there is a certain slant of light by Emily Dickinson, and “In the Coronary Garden” by Anne Townsend is quite nice too. “We Real Cool” by Gwyndolyn Brooks is a poem I think about a lot, and I love the way it sounds. Every morning I recite “I don’t want to go to school today, said little Suzy Anne McKay” by Shel Silverstien, so it definitely ranks up there. There are many, many, many more, too.
5. I write poetry, but I’ve never been published, and I always second guess myself.
6. My experience reading poetry differs from reading other types of literature because the words of a poem become a part of your vernacular and mind in a way that the words in prose cannot. They have a meaning that moves beyond the dictionary. You can only find others in prose, you can find others and yourself in poetry.
7. I find poetry everywhere, every time, and in everything.
8. The last time I heard poetry in person was about a month ago, on my mp3 player when I was running, and when I recited that Silverstien poem this morning.
9. I think poetry is like breathing, talking, eating, reading, thinking, sleeping, dreaming, searching, finding, running, avoiding, drinking, enthusing, resting. Everything.