Put A Poem in Yo Pocket

For this year’s Put A Poem In Your Pocket Day, I decided to flash back to my fledgling blogger days on Patch.com! Here I (rather verbosely) share how two popular poems related to my personal experiences two years ago. Now? I believe the dream is no longer deferred! The road I travel upon has been quite adventuresome. My blogging? A bit tighter… geez, am I one wordy sumomabitch… Enjoy!

Original Post Date April 17, 2013 at 04:26 PM

Remember having to memorize and recite poems for a grade? You couldn’t get away with a haiku either, oh no.Shakespeare’s sonnets, any of them, incited hemorrhaging. I had the (cough, cough) joy of tackling Alexander Pope’s Rape of the Lock for a project. Thankfully, The Dragon (yes, she wanted us to call her that) only required Canto I of the five. Do the kids do this in school anymore? Is it another assignment they can file a legal injunction against?

This is why I respect poets. They can stand in front of an audience and spin a tale with grace and excitement and without needing to reference notes. Me? I tried it a couple of times with my own poetry. I can’t even memorize my own poetry! Perhaps I blew out that particular section of my brain during my recitation of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky.

Poems can amplify your life experiences. One example is Stopping by Woods On A Snowy Evening. “Of easy wind and downy flake” is a beautiful line, full of imagery. I’ve enjoyed Robert Frost’s work since my childhood, but this poem literally came alive for me one winter driving in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Whenever I come across it now, I remember me and my dog Bear driving from Altoona to State College, stopping on a peak to admire the downy flake of an Appalachian winter.

Poetry can pronounce your experiences when your own words can’t do it justice. A Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes did that for me three years ago. I remember reciting it for a stage production and for junior year English but thought nothing of it then. Seventeen years later I was fumbling over my state of being, crippled by uncertainty, and then happened upon this poem (courtesy of cswnet.com):

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

And with that, I said, it’s time to become a writer. Novelist, poet, blogger three years later. Thank you Langston Hughes.

Remember to put a poem in your pocket tomorrow. Share it with everyone in listening range; posting on social media I deem cheating! I close with two of my own works for you to enjoy. One light, one dark, depending on how you prefer your poetic coffee.

Ode to Three Birds Tavern

(Composed 5.31.12)

Once upon a day dreary
wind choppy, sky bleary
I wandered into tavern here
soaking wet, ordered a beer
Soon it amounted to more than one
and out peak’ed the afternoon sun
Kristen sparked the music box right
with rockabilly to delight
the boys in the back pushed the cue
the bartender kept pouring brew
the winds calmed down
the sky did clear
and all of this cause
I stopped for a beer.
©2015 VS Enterprises

Stopping By The Master’s Grave

(Composed 4.4.13)

youandI have been here before
youandI
youandI have spoken in cold air
and youandI were youandI
despite the chill
 
youandI have much in common
youandI
darkness we wear like
a furry cloak in the air of despair
 
will me
towards the black
trust me
to honor your way
your words
your fundamental melancholy
 
youandI have much in common
youandI
I will see you
brother
it will not be too soon.
©2015 VS Enterprises
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