Wednesday, April 17, 2013

RTW: Poetry Month

YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday

April is National Poetry Month, as I'm sure you're all aware by now.  That means lots of lovely verse has been floating around the interweb ether for a few weeks.  It has even found its way onto the YA Highway Blog!  Today's Road Trip Wednesday question asks us to share our favorite poem and/or poet.  I find this prompt to be exceedingly difficult; impossible, actually.  To pick just one favorite poem or poet would be like choosing just one thing to eat for the rest of your life.  With so many delicious options available and an ever-changing mood, how could one possibly declare just one thing above all others? 

There are far too many poems that I would label favorites for me to share in one post, but I have chosen one that speaks to me today and has done so many times in the past.  I love this particular poem because it describes my personality so very well.  I tend to take things very personally and feel the weight of others' burdens on my own shoulders as well.  

After what happened at the Boston Marathon this week, I have been in a somewhat despairing mood.  For some reason, these tragic events weigh heavily on me and I find it difficult to shake them off and continue with everyday life.  I have been told many times in my life that I take things too personally and need to develop thicker skin.  This is especially true in the writing industry, where criticism is thrown at you whether you want to play catch or not.

So here is my favorite poem of the moment:


By Tony Hoagland

Don’t take it personal, they said;
but I did, I took it all quite personal—

the breeze and the river and the color of the fields;
the price of grapefruit and stamps,

the wet hair of women in the rain—
And I cursed what hurt me

and I praised what gave me joy,
the most simple-minded of possible responses.

The government reminded me of my father,
with its deafness and its laws,

and the weather reminded me of my mom,
with her tropical squalls.

Enjoy it while you can, they said of Happiness
Think first, they said of Talk

Get over it, they said
at the School of Broken Hearts

but I couldn’t and I didn’t and I don’t
believe in the clean break;

I believe in the compound fracture
served with a sauce of dirty regret,

I believe in saying it all
and taking it all back

and saying it again for good measure
while the air fills up with I’m-Sorries

like wheeling birds
and the trees look seasick in the wind.

Oh life! Can you blame me
for making a scene?

You were that yellow caboose, the moon
disappearing over a ridge of cloud.

I was the dog, chained in some fool’s backyard;
barking and barking:

trying to convince everything else
to take it personal too.

Anyone else have an opinion or favorite to share?

By the way, if you are a writer of fiction or non-fiction and haven't developed an appreciation for poetry yet,  check this out.