Monday in seminar we began presenting our poems. I’ve read and analyzed many poems in the past for academic and recreational reasons, but I have never been asked to recite poems, or for that matter, seen poetry performed. I enjoyed the ways my classmates interpreted their poems and presented them to the class, whether is was a poem about the threat of nuclear fallout, a lively interpretation of a city street, or a mournful tale of death and sorrow. Each recital was unique and touching, I could really feel the weight of the words as my classmates performed them.
The first book of poetry that I remember really enjoying was in 5th grade and it was called Hailstones and Halibut Bonesby Mary O’Neil. In this book of poems the poet, Mary O’Neil describes the colors of the rainbow with beautiful descriptive language. Each poem in this book starts with the question, “What is?”. “What is red? Red is a sunset Blazy and bright. Red is a feeling brave With all your might Red is a sunburn Spot on your nose, sometimes red Is a red, red, rose…” When I was ten this was the best thing since sliced bread. I continued to enjoy poetry well into my intermediate school years (at which point the majority of poetry which I listened and read came in the form of song lyrics). In fifth grade I also had the pleasure of writing my own poetry anthology. Within this collection I wrote a poem entitled Crescent Moon.
Like a slide in the sky you shine from on high
In front of the tar, you shine from afar
And are replaced by the sun
After the crickets have sung
My Crescent Moon
My Crescent Moon
It’s not going to win any awards anytime soon, but I was proud of it.
What appeals to me about poetry is that it isn’t obvious. Poets take great care in crafting each word, choosing their diction and syntax to portray their message. In order to really get to the heart of a poem you have to dig and sort through all of the layers that the poet has developed. As a lover of theater, poetry also appeals to me because it is an art form which is best performed instead of read.
I look forward to hearing the rest of the poems presented in class.