Sunday, June 1, 2014

All About Poetry

The last few days have been all about poetry. Early this past week, I was offered the opportunity to attend next weekend's West Chester University Poetry Conference. I am very much looking forward to participating in a workshop session with slam poet Michael Cirelli, who was recently interviewed by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation's for a Poetry Friday post. And coincidentally, I received a flyer just a few days ago from the Dodge Foundation about their upcoming Teacher Day in October, part of the biennial Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. And so I've been reflecting on the importance of poetry, both in terms of my role as a literature teacher as well as to me personally.

When meeting someone for the first time, I don't usually declare myself a writer. However, this past year I have come to realize that in many ways I am. I mark moments with lines of poetry. My bookshelves are home to writing notebooks of varying sizes and varying saturation of coffee stains. Inspired lines are quickly scribbled on post-it notes and napkins, stuffed unceremoniously into my book bag or purse. Google Drive and Evernote safely keep untold number of drafts, moments in progress. I write to understand, to be understood, to remember, and to hold fast to the emotions of particular moments.

So, since the universe seems to be calling me to reflect on the power of poetry, I thought I would take a moment to share a piece that I've been working on recently, inspired by a few still moments in my otherwise chaotic home.

Patron of Their Art

Each room filled with absurd still lifes:
A rubber chicken swims with whales,
Mighty Thor defends against the Rancor
though Mjölnir is no match for Lego claws,
Ann and Andy rest easy in the rocking chair
Comfortably clutching Wampa and baby black bear.
Mother bear finds respite on brother's bed.

Warm silence cradles each work in progress
While artists are off to study other subjects.
Scenes crafted and unfinished,
Ready to be rearranged.

I will not disturb this Dada,
The irrationality and intuition of childhood,
To shuffle it away into drawers of logic and order.
Instead, I will let Legos lie underfoot,
Leave the menagerie that crowds out sleep,
Knowing that too soon the day will come when
little fingers will forget about such art.

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