Poetry Challenge Update

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We are heading into the final days of February. I realized yesterday that I have done a lousy job letting anyone—even Mary—know how I am doing with the poetry challenge. To everyone’s surprise, especially my own, I feel like I’ve done really well with this.

I’ve read a least one poem a day. I’ve read a few chapbooks, and a collection of poems. I’ve come across some new (to me) poets, and revisited some old favorites.

Yeats Keats and Shakespeare Langston Hughes Nikki Giovanni Mary Oliver Shel Silverstein

Seamus Heaney Maya Angelou Edgar Allen Poe Kazim Ali Anne Sexton e.e. cummings

Ocean Vuong…

I’ve touched base with a bunch of my poet friends. (Seriously, guys, for someone who proclaims to have rid her life of poetry, I have a LOT of poet friends! It’s pretty great.)

I’ve even looked at some of the poetry I wrote in a course I took with Joanna Penn Cooper  and revised a few pieces. (They still need a LOT of work.)

Some things I’ve learned:

  • Like my taste in music, which is VERY broad, my taste in poetry is all over the map. (I’m MULTI-FACETED people.)
  • Poetry is part of how I learn about someone and about their culture—how individuals and how their people handle their big emotions and big events (births, deaths, weddings, etc.) shows up in their poetry. I had forgotten what a beautiful way of engaging with others. I’m glad I remembered.
  • Turns out I never really swept poetry out of my life. As practical and efficient as I have become, I have in fact kept a steady stream of poetry in my soul that reveals itself in my teaching, in my prayers, in my dreams.

Where is the poetry in your life? What poems do you hold dear?

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