When I was sixteen, it was simple. Poetry existed; therefore it could be written; and nobody had told me — yet — the many, many reasons why it could not be written by me.
I've been writing poems for the peace poem postcard project (a poem a day in February) and I've noticed some things about myself. One is that I don't want to send anybody a poem I don't like, which is a lot of pressure (impossible??) for that many poems. The second is that I can't handwrite a poem on a postcard for anything. My lines are too long and I wind up changing my line breaks. Even though my handwriting is pretty neat, I wind up worrying about the poems' readability. I've been printing my poems and then gluing them on the postcards because I can have longer poems that way.
I need to tap into my short poem self, which has been fairly elusive thus far. I wrote this short ekprastic poem based on Gaston La Touche's The Joyous Festival and then was like, ack, it's not peace-themed! Ah well, at least I can share it with y'all!
Also this week: my 17yo has been studying Margaret Atwood poems in English class and she and I discussed a number of them. Atwood is not an easy poet, so I am impressed that the kids are digging into her work. If all the kids in her school read Atwood, I would have different options when I am figuring out which poems to put up for National Poetry Month. Anyhoo, one that Elena and I discussed was the spicy Spelling:
My daughter plays on the floor
with plastic letters,
red, blue & hard yellow,
learning how to spell,
how to make spells.
I wonder how many women
denied themselves daughters,
closed themselves in rooms,
drew the curtains
so they could mainline words.
read the rest here.
One more quote:
I can tell you that once upon a time when I was doing public events people would ask me, "What do you think about the arts?, What do you think of the role of women?, What do you think of men?, What do you think of all of these things?", and now they ask one thing, and that one thing is this, "Is there hope?"
The answer, of course, is yes. Always yes.
Writing the World for Kids has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Laura!