In my younger years I was, and I suppose still am to some, the strange person reading poetry and jotting down a poem or haiku on a scrap of paper. Some writers craft beautiful sentences into a book that captivates their readers; but a poet condenses heart-chosen words into lines that form a poem and also enthralls their readers. Neither is more skilled or needed than the other. They both have their important place in the literary world.
This year a direction of my life was changed from reading “The Joy of Poetry” by Megan Willome. An old passion for reading and writing poetry was reignited as Megan shared her love for poetry and its healing balm as she watched her mother battle cancer. She writes:
“Poetry is my prescription for adversity. It can touch hidden places in ways prose can’t. When I am heartbroken and read a poem that seems to have been written from someone else’s dark place, I can sit among the broken eggshells and know I’m not alone. I don’t need to know how the eggshells got broken.”
This book is also for those who don’t understand poetry but want to learn more about it. Megan explains good poetry versus bad poetry. She shares many examples of poetry that inspired her or reminded her of her mother.
If you write poetry but have found yourself with writer’s block, then this book may be the catalyst to get your creativity flowing again as it was for me. Megan ends her book with suggestions on how to keep a poetry journal, how to be a poetry buddy with someone else and how to do a poetry dare with a community.
“The Joy of Poetry” is one of books in the Masters in Fine Living Series published by T. S. Poetry Press. Megan is one of the writers featured at Tweetspeak Poetry. Tweetspeak is a community of poets and readers. They offer many resources for teachers to inspire their students to read and write poetry. I highly recommend Megan’s book and the Tweetspeak website to those who love poetry or want to learn more about it.
I wrote her obituary
to the chorus of the babbling brook
played by the aquarium-like tank
sustaining her life.
The green cord attached,
her new best friend though
she says it makes her feel
like a dog on a leash.
She asks permission to go lie down
on her bed. I reply,
“Granny, you don’t need my permission.”
She rests. I restless.
She’s never wanted to go to bed at midday.
Every fifteen minutes I tiptoe in
to watch the rise and fall of her chest.
She’s planned her funeral.
I was procrastinating on the obituary
but now it seemed more pressing.
Together we read through it,
ninety-six years of her life
condensed to three paragraphs.
Her last request finished, I now fear
she may find the green leash
too tight and let it go.
I tiptoe in to watch
the rise and fall of her chest.
She rests. I restless.
-Debbie Neal Crawford