Friday, April 25, 2008

An Ode to National Poetry Month

Okay, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a huge poetry fan... I'm sorry, but Emily Dickinson bores me to tears. But there are exceptions and I'm learning to enjoy it more. In college, I learned to appreciate Elizabeth Barrett Browning, one-time national poet laureate Billy Collins, and of course, Shakespeare. Those loves all came though, because of a professor who was so enthusiastic and passionate about poetry that her passion was contagious... and she made it fun! I ended up taking her multiple times as an English major. She'd do crazy things like have us do debates over which couple in a Shakespeare play was the more realistically in love couple... a debate complete with a gauntlet throwing challenge and a judges panel, and one time, I even played some dead king and laid on a table some classmates carried to the door.

I still remember a Shel Silverstein poem, One Sister for Sale, that I memorized in grade school because I felt it "adequately described my pain as the oft-mistreated younger sister" *halo ding* Silverstein and the first/current National Children's Poet Laureate, Jack Prelutsky have humorous child poetry down to an artform. They, like my professor, have made poetry accessible to everyone, not just people who have a little more artistic appreciation than I do. I know my best friend reads these two to her third grade class and gets requests for more and more. I'm trying to take that knowledge... that it's how something is presented sometimes (Is there interest/passion on the part of the parent/teacher/librarian?) that can bring a "dull" subject alive... and apply it. Tomorrow, I'll be doing a magnetic poetry program with the teens at the library to celebrate National Poetry Month. They get free lunch; they just have to provide the imagination, as we use those magnetic poetry kits and try to come up with the best (or funniest) immortal lines.

In a different context, as a Christian, I'm made in God's image. He is the Creator, so therefore, I (supposedly!) have some creativity inside me, as well. As He's been showing me that fact, I've come to embrace my inner poet (ha!)... simply as a means of expressing myself... feelings, joy in nature, whatever strikes me. No, I will not share! But all of these random thoughts... I think the common thread is that, whether it's poetry, God or something else, something has to become real, and more than just a concept to us, before we can truly see it's beauty and value. So try out some poetry ;)

No comments: