This week’s journal topic: Do you like poetry? Why or why not? Include a copy of your favorite poem and explain why you like it best.
Do I like poetry? I don’t think I’ve given this question much thought. I did my fair share of poetry in elementary school, both writing and reading it. There were some poems I enjoyed, others I didn’t, and some that confused me. As far as writing poetry, I didn’t feel I was very good at it and decided it wasn’t my preferred form of writing.
Though lately, through being exposed to good poetry, learning more about interpreting poems, and even reading my classmates’ poetry has helped me realize I like it quite a bit. An interesting aspect of poetry is it can be interpreted differently by each reader. I love this openness, how I can read another’s words and apply them to how I feel. Likewise, if I write poetry, a reader might have a completely different take on it than I do. It gives me a sense of freedom, expressing how I feel knowing my readers may not guess the topic.
Another aspect I greatly appreciate about poetry is symbolism. Call me crazy, but I love analyzing and speculating what metaphors mean. I enjoy wondering why a certain symbol was chosen and what it communicates. Though perhaps what I love most about poetry is that there is something about it that makes the reader feel more connected with the emotion. In a way I can’t explain, it communicates something prose doesn’t.
There isn’t a poem I would call my favorite, but I really like The Writer by Richard Wilbur, perhaps because I, like the girl mentioned in the poem, love to write.
In her room at the prow of the house
Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,
My daughter is writing a story.
I pause in the stairwell, hearing
From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys
Like a chain hauled over a gunwale.
Young as she is, the stuff
Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy:
I wish her a lucky passage.
But now it is she who pauses,
As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.
A stillness greatens, in which
The whole house seems to be thinking,
And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor
Of strokes, and again is silent.
I remember the dazed starling
Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago;
How we stole in, lifted a sash
And retreated, not to affright it;
And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door,
We watched the sleek, wild, dark
And iridescent creature
Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove
To the hard floor, or the desk-top,
And wait then, humped and bloody,
For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits
Rose when, suddenly sure,
It lifted off from a chair-back,
Beating a smooth course for the right window
And clearing the sill of the world.
It is always a matter, my darling,
Of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish
What I wished you before, but harder.