This past year, poetry changed for me. I read the daily poems on Poetry Daily, and browsed poets by subject on Poets.org. I listened to extremely awesome spoken-word artists. I tried to find a poem to recite for Speech (I'm in the Poetry category), something that I'd truly enjoy remembering. I read young poets' writing, like Peter LaBerge and Alicia Lai (seriously, go look them up, as they are epic). I began to love the poetry of poets such as Carmen Giménez Smith and Jorie Graham.
I internalized their poetry, read them over and over until they took on a meaning for me, until they embodied the listless minutes waiting for class to end, the ebb and flow of students rushing down the green-linoleum halls. Furthermore, as a Reader at Polyphony HS, I analyzed the poetry's inner workings, the tenuous -precarious- ligaments pulling together the poem, giving it structure and meaning.
Poetry has such a capability to embody the human experience, even more so, than prose. As such, I decided that I'd write a poem every day, as a challenge. Only a few days in, I'm already scrambling for topics, ways to make the mundane interesting. This means yellow Post-Its littering my bookcase, handwritten fragments tossed in jumbled lines. This means a simmering realization that I'm writing in a style that's been used for thousands of years. This means I'm attempting an exercise in understanding, to see just how well I know -and will know- myself and the world around me. A poem tries to define a moment, a life, a consciousness, which is exactly what makes it so powerful.
Read a poem today; better yet, write one. You might like what you find.