My love for poetry started off with nursery rhymes and deepened from books such as Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss and Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein, both read at an early age. I tend to love poems with rhyme & meter – the way the words feel as I read them aloud. That is why I truly loved Shakespeare so well the first time I read his works – the composition of the words is so melodic and most everything is in rhyme.
The story behind the Star-Spangled Banner taught me that song lyrics are rhyming poems set to a piece of music. After learning about songs, I moved away from the printed page when it came to poetry. Poetry then became this living, breathing entity – documented each week as Casey Kasem counted down the top forty. Songs tell a living history and date back to the middle ages. I moved from studying Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Frost, and Emily Dickinson to studying Bob Dylan, Andrew Sisters, Glenn Miller, Chris Cornell, Metallica, Lenny Kravitz, Grand Master Flash, NWA, Jay-Z, Anthony Kiedis, Jim Morrison, Marvin Gaye, Johnny Cash… you get the idea. Again, the meter and rhyme were what hooked me. Their poetic meanings so rich in songs so simple is what keeps me loving poetry and music.
There are many people who say they don’t “get” poetry. For me, “getting” poetry isn’t a thing, it is a feeling. The way the words feel as I read them aloud, how they echo through my memory or my knowledge of history or my emotions… that is what poetry is to me.
I have a challenging time answering others when they ask me what my poems mean, because I feel poems should echo through the reader, not the writer. My poems crystallize a moment in time – a single feeling from a single moment – a spotlight on emotion. Feedback from previous readers: better when read aloud. But what these poems mean is not up to me, their meanings are up to you…
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