On Writing

Why I Say Yes

Last week I said yes to three jobs that would overfill my proverbial plate. Today I said yes to yet another.

Why? Because poetry.

In the last two days, I’ve read over 100 poems.

Today, I listened to 17 brilliant high school students recite two poems each. That’s another…um…math…34 more poems in my life.

I’m addicted, but what’s more, I’m curious. Poetry is so vast and wild and hard and wonderful that when an opportunity presents itself wherein I can engage with poetry…it’s like my mouth, my fingertips, my body – they all scream YES.

It is a pure, creative exchange between me and the words. Between me and the poet. Between me and the meanings, the power, the energy that is part of each poem.

You know, when people ask me what I do, I tell them I’m a writer and go from there. I’m not specific. I don’t say, I’m a poet. Why do I do that? I am a poet – through and through.

It’s an interesting self-observation and when I’m immersed in such deep piles of poetry, I feel poetry flowing through me like an extra kind of blood.

The students reciting poetry for the Poetry in Voice school-level competition today floored me. I mean it. The nuances…the natural ability to be the poem was moving and outstanding. I wanted to hug each of them. I wanted to shake them and scream THANK YOU! The words…the meanings…the poetry dripped from their lips and limbs like…like stardust. Better even.

I spent nearly three hours with a poet…seeping into her manuscript. Pouring love into every line as we moved through her words. It was incredible. It was exhausting. It was momentous and essential. It was inspiring and beautiful. Poetry makes me more me. And it makes anyone who reads or write it – more.

So that’s why I say yes. Because poetry!

6 thoughts on “Why I Say Yes

  1. YES for all the right reasons! Years ago, when my children were small, I made a vow to “always say ‘yes’ to writing.” So far, so good!


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