Poetry

Where To Start With Poetry, For #NationalPoetryDay

This morning a friend tweeted me asking for some famous poems I know. I wasn’t sure why at first, then I saw it’s National Poetry Day and perhaps that had something to do with it. Or maybe it’s all just a coincidence. Anyway, this friend grew up in New Zealand and said she felt like her Kiwi education may have been different from other people’s.

Since she seemed to be asking for recommendations of well-known poetry, I responded on Facebook instead because there isn’t a 140-character limit there. I also ignored the actual question and recommended poets and movements rather than specific poems, except in a couple of instances. Often what speaks to one person doesn’t speak to another, and arguably this is especially the case with poetry. Some people like flosculous language, some like post-modern syntax, some like poetry but only when it’s performed. It’s pretty much impossible to recommend a poem that everyone will love. So instead I gave a brief intro, and once I’d typed it all out I thought I’d stick it in a blog post as well, in case any of you are trying to work out where to start with poetry.

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Poetry

The First Poem I Ever Wrote, For National Poetry Day

Yesterday was Teachers’ Day. Today is National Poetry Day. These two things have been interwoven in my life for many years, and both are important to me, so I thought I’d write a quick post about them.

I wrote my first poem when I was twelve, and I wrote it because of a teacher. We were in English class, and I was in a new school in a new country and wasn’t settling in very well. I was looking for a way to distract myself from life, and while I had the school library to keep me going, I wanted something more actively creative as well – a new string to my bow.

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Poetry

autumn leaves: a poem

autumnleaves

the leaves are falling now
the first signs that the trees are getting tired.
unable to sustain their grip anymore,
they rescind their grasp reluctantly
and the leaves they’ve borne so carefully til now
drop to the ground like so many raindrops

if they make ripples on the earth, we do not see them
their landing is too light
their descent was too gentle
they fall beside the trunks that upheld them
above the roots that grew them
and there they wait, right where they fell
for a gust of wind to come and whip them away
rehoming them again
far from the trees they once called their own.

Poetry

supermarket blues

it’s cold over here by the quiches
i pull my shawl tighter
around my shoulders and
shudder
as someone steps just a bit too close.

the bread aisle is full of choices
i’m sure there weren’t
so many types of loaf
when i was young.

in the fish aisle i stop and stare
my mind switches to a frequency
aligned with the hum of the refridgerators
and i lose myself momentarily
in its gentle buzz.

the world outside is loud but it is morning
and the shop hasn’t yet been invaded
by screaming children and toddler tantrums
and life-tired workers at lunch.

“beep” says the machine as i feed it my card and
“beep” as it replies with my receipt

stuff in bag, i schlep
out through the whoosh
of the automatic doors

and back to the world beyond.