Many years ago–more than 20, actually–I declared that I didn’t like poetry. I told a friend at the time (who DID like poetry) that I didn’t cotton to poetry myself because people don’t think in poetry but in prose, I claimed.
But home schooling my boys has made me a poetry convert.
I read aloud when we go on road trips. Just last Friday, I estimate I read 5 hours going from Orlando to Mississippi for a celebration of my grandfather’s 90th birthday. I finished the book The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew. Then I read an entire book in the Boxcar Children series and then started another one in that series. On the way home, I finished that Boxcar Children mystery novel and then read aloud the Shel Silverstein book of poetry called A Light in the Attic.
When we finished the book of poems, I made a mental note of the page numbers where I could find 2 of those. Today I returned to the book and wrote the 2 poems on the inside flaps of one of my journals.
Here’s the first one I wanted to copy down so that I can return to it and read it again and again:
I relish the idea of putting something in the world–perhaps that most others wouldn’t even notice–that hadn’t been there before. And the other one:
Investing love into a relationship, putting love inside a friend…that just makes me smile.
And one final little poem, which happens to be my (current) favorite, also gleaned from a children’s book of poetry. It’s called Happy Apple:
If I were an apple and grew on a tree,
I think I’d fall down on a nice boy like me.
I wouldn’t stay there, giving nobody joy.
I’d fall down at once and say, “Eat me, my boy!”
Maybe I was wrong–maybe people DO think in poetry. And maybe I can live my life like that happy apple, being used up by giving joy.