Welcome back to my monthly blog! Although I’m graduating in three short weeks (agh!), today I thought I’d talk a little bit about poetry.
Where I live there is a very vibrant poetry community. I’ve been spectating poetry events for almost a year now because my best friend is a poet. However, I’ve never participated. I always say that I’m a journalist – I’m not about that flowery language and extended metaphors. But that all changed on a day earlier this month. My university was lucky enough to have slam poet Olivia Gatwood come. She writes incredible poems:
I got the opportunity to attend her writing workshop where we all learned how to write odes. Although I began with some trepidation, I found the experience to be wonderfully cathartic. I half-wrote a poem, and excitedly typed the rest of it out during my next class. It wasn’t half-bad, and I realized just how much I had been missing in terms of poetry. Honestly, despite what previous Sarah had said, poetry is just journalism told from a first-person point of view with more similes. Both are short, sweet, and (mostly) to the point.
I’m really excited that I dove into the world of poetry more than just watching it. I’ve written a couple poems since the ode workshop, and it’s been a great feeling getting my words on paper in a different form than I’m used to. I’d highly recommend poetry to anyone needing to channel their thoughts or feelings in a creative way. After all, who knows? You could be the next Olivia Gatwood.
Here’s the ode that I wrote during that poetry workshop. It’s not great, but it’s also not terrible:
This is an ode to tall girls.
Girls they call
Silent and cold.
You are not a skyscraper.
Are an island
With roots deep in the ocean,
Deeper than they could ever know.
Your golden palm tree curls continuously reaching
Towards the sun.
You who are always asked
To reach the very best cereal on the top shelf of the grocery store
The child tells you
The last time she climbed the grocery shelves
She busted open three cans of canned pineapple
And her mother was very angry.
That is something you’ve never experienced.
You never climbed in elementary school.
You ran more often into the monkey bars
Than under them.
Wear the welt on your forehead proudly.
It is your badge of honor that
Can do what every second grader wants to do
And make it all the way across the monkey bars
Never mind that your feet are in the sand.
You were always the tallest person in your class
Continuously banished to the back in dance recitals
And class photos
and all photos.
Never the center of attention
The center of attention
Because how can someone
NOT notice you?
Gawky and awkward
All limbs and no torso
All clutch your arms to your chest so the principal doesn’t notice how short your skirt is
Not because you like breaking the rules
But because you can’t find clothes that fit the dress code.
You wore heels to your homecoming dance.
Do not be afraid
To tower over people who try to make you feel
You were never
Even when your date looks you up and down in terror
That only two inches separate your height
And you’re wearing four-inch heels.
Why do people dislike you so much, tall girl?
Is it because you are not afraid?
Not afraid to grow?
To fill your lungs until you can’t breathe anymore?
To fill up every cranny and nook you were told to shy away from?
Is it because they’re scared that you take up
So teach them.
Teach them to smash every box someone tries to fit them in
With bright yellow stilettos.
Teach them to learn to take up space
In every space
Teach them to spread their wings