Saturday, April 27, 2013

In Honor of National Poetry Month

April is almost over, but I wanted to post something for National Poetry Month.  I've had a bad relationship for poetry in the past.  I think it has a lot to do with how poetry is taught in school and which poems they make you read.  I despised poetry even though I have always loved every other form of literature.  Over the course of high school, my feelings began to change a bit, but I still shied away from it for the most part.  Then, this year (my first year of college) I realized that it's nowhere near as scary as I'd thought it was all these years.  I definitely have a certain college class and a certain professor to think for finally making me realize that.  Now I have a much bigger love for poetry, and I've discovered that writing it isn't as scary as I'd always feared either.

For my English class this semester we were asked to write a found poem.  A found poem is a poem that is written from pieces of another work of literature.  You search that work, find bits of pieces of it, and rearrange it to create your own work.  In this case we were told to work with the short novel "Noon Wine" by Katherine Anne Porter.  The assignment was scary to me when I first learned of it, and even when I turned my poem in I wasn't all that proud of it even though I'd worked hard on it.  I've always felt that poetry is more restrictive (and I still believe it is in many ways) than prose, and I didn't think my poem fit that.  However, my professor approached me one day to tell me that she'd really enjoyed my poem.  I was shocked since I'd thought it had been horrible.  That was kind of the last thing to break me away from the fear I'd had about writing poetry for so long.

I still don't consider myself a poet by any means, but I've decided to post the poem I wrote for that class here (and on my writing blog) in honor of National Poetry Month.  I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever shared any poetry I've written other than what I've been required to in classes because I've always been so scared of it.  I guess this is just another step in getting over that.

Foreign America

Some kind of accent.
It wasn't Cajun, Nigger, or Dutch,
So it had him stumped.
What kind of foreigner could he be...

"I'm a Swede."
Never seen any Swedes in this neck of the woods.
The first Swede I ever lay eyes on.
Heavens, he looked lazy,
Worthless, he did, now.

"Been here long yourself?"
Been right here all along.
"From Ireland, I reckon?"
What makes you think...

Been settled here for so long
It don't make much difference.

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