Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A little light

One of the things I'm rediscovering, during this strange period of my life that I can't really understand, let alone explain... is how much I love poetry.

You see, I've always loved to read, ever since I started reading. I've read shampoo bottles in the tub, cereal boxes at the breakfast table. I read in the car to keep from getting car sick, I read while I was walking (to the detriment of those around me) because the walk was too boring. I read the entire (skipping things I couldn't have cared less about) Encyclopedia Americana set from 1980 that lives in our living room, just to see if I could. I read the dictionary... aloud. When I was 12. I've always read a wide variety - "boy" books and "girl" books (although I contend there are no such things,) "kids" books, "young adult" books, and "adult" books; fiction, non-fiction; fun and fascinating, scary and serious, all genres & forms welcome.

But sometimes I go through these periods where reading anything besides comforting, familiar authors is beyond what I have the strength and energy for. Because reading something powerful can be exhausting or invigorating, enlightening or lighthearted, but it always, always makes you feel. So there are times when feeling anything else is just beyond me, when it feels like every nerve ending in my body is just too exposed: Not just physically, cuz that's my everyday, but emotionally. It's all just too much.
Eventually, though, I come out of these slumps and I wonder why I stopped reading certain things.

Poetry is one of the first things I stop reading when I come to these times, and it's almost always the thing I miss the most. But I'm just not a person who can force themselves to read poems... poems are for savoring - you can gulp them or sip them, but if you're not enjoying them, you're doing it wrong. That's not the way poetry is taught - once you're out of middle school, anyways - but it's the way it should be taught. Learning the meaning behind the thing is great, but if you don't feel it, you won't care enough. It makes me cry thinking about all the dissection we did of poems in high school and college: instead of picking them apart, we should have been putting them together, trying to appreciate the whole package and wondering at the glory of each piece as we did so.

Poems, like picture books, are made for reading aloud: you need to hear the rhythm of the words, feel the way your tongue moves as you speak the words, hear the rumble in your chest as you weave your way through the lines, listen to the pauses at each period, question the comma placement or line ending as you take a breath.

Being back in a place where I can hear the poems, where I can feel them - even though a lot of other things are cloudy and scary - feels good.

I'm going to share a bit of that with you guys today, and whenever else I feel like it: Waaay back when, I used to post poems on Thursdays. I'm thinking of restarting that tradition, but I've got to find a day of the week that works for me now, so it may need some tweaking. For now, here's a poem to keep your Wednesday working.

I saw a Butterfly Today by Venos Tricon

I saw a butterfly today
Small and green with no wings
Crawling into shadows\hiding from a world who ignores it’s subtle beauty
Afraid to never be noticed…appreciated

I saw a butterfly today
Camouflaged and shielded in self-made walls
Neglecting the world of it’s gentle touch
Afraid to be met with a forceful hand

I saw a butterfly today
Wings new and fresh
Excited with exhilaration
Facing a world with new courage
Knowing it can not be harmed

I saw a butterfly today
Blue and gold streaked the sky
embracing the sunlight’s rays
Fluttering around my head
Carrying my heart on her flight

I saw a butterfly today

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