Poetry is Poetry

on April 20, 2010

When I was young I was completely convinced that a poem HAD to rhyme in order to be a real poem.   Ironic that my only published poem did not rhyme in the least.   It was a masterpiece of literary art.  The words flowed together in such beauty and harmony that one can scarcely read the words without grabbing a nearby tissue and/or sleeve and wipe your nose and/or eyes.  It was published in the prestigious newspaper, The Valley View News.  I am not sure of the year – but I was in 3rd grade and frankly I’m too tired and/or lazy to do the math.   I have chosen to share this with you now.

Thanksgiving is

Thanksgiving is eating turkey

Thanksgiving is grandma and grandpa

Thanksgiving is cranberry sauce.

Thanksgiving is pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving is happiness.

Thanksgiving is Thanksgiving.

I personally think the last line is deep and poignant but I must confess . . . I don’t think I knew I was writing a poem at the time.  I think maybe the assignment was “What’s Thanksgiving” and so I wrote it out in a few lines and summed it up at the end with kind of a “duh . . . Thanksgiving is Thanksgiving”.  I don’t remember for sure but I’m pretty certain I wasn’t planning on writing a poem?  You know how I know?  BECAUSE IT DIDN’T RHYME!  Everyone in third grade knows poems rhyme.

I remember checking a poetry book out of the library when I was in grade school called A Rocket in My Pocket.  This book has awesome real poems (and as I’m writing this I do a quick search at Amazon and find a used copy that I just ordered) such as:

A Rocket in My Pocket

by Anonymous

I’ve got a rocket
In my pocket;
I cannot stop to play.
Away it goes!
I’ve burned my toes.
It’s Independence Day.
I still love me a good poem.  My tastes haven’t gotten more sophisticated though because I really do not like long poems.  If you got that much to say . . .  write a story.  I still like funny rhyming poems too such as Shel Silversteins Bear In There
There's a Polar Bear
In our Frigidaire--
He likes it 'cause it's cold in there.
With his seat in the meat
And his face in the fish
And his big hairy paws
In the buttery dish,
He's nibbling the noodles,
He's munching the rice,
He's slurping the soda,
He's licking the ice.
And he lets out a roar
If you open the door.
And it gives me a scare
To know he's in there--
That Polary Bear
In our Fridgitydaire.
I think another sign I never quite matured in matters of poetry is that every time I see or hear a poem by Emily Dickinson I check to see if really can be sung to the tune of the Yellow Rose of Texas.
I will admit . . . I really do love  non-rhyming poems too once I learned that poems really don’t have to rhyme.  I do love when words paint a picture in your mind and form sort of a song with a beautiful melody that has no notes.  I admire those who can write this way and at times wish I had the same gift.  But for me I think I’m stuck with that darn polar bear in my Frigidaire.

2 responses to “Poetry is Poetry

  1. laurel says:

    “I think another sign I never quite matured in matters of poetry is that every time I see or hear a poem by Emily Dickinson I check to see if really can be sung to the tune of the Yellow Rose of Texas.”

    i just adore you.
    that is all.

  2. tikenmoose says:

    I must share another Silverstein that I love:

    There are too many kids in this tub
    There are too many elbows to scrub.
    I just washed a behind
    That I’m sure wasn’t mine
    There are too many kids in this tub.

    Ooh, ooh, one more…

    I hit an arrow toward the sky
    It hit a white cloud floating by,
    The cloud fell dying to the shore
    I don’t shoot arrows anymore.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the Polar Bear poem. Thanks!!

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