My niece, Kennedy, has to read a 2 minute poem in front of her class - one that she got off the Internet. So, I thought I would write her one that she could share if she wanted too.
A Poem for my Niece
Writing to you from far away.
Did I ever tell you that my whole entire life,
I’ve loved poetry?
Did I ever tell you how poetry
And I met?
Well, it all happened one day,
A long time ago
Before you were born.
My sister and I had a fight.
I stormed off to my room,
Took my journal out,
Found a pen,
And threw the ink across the paper
In a ugly rage.
All the words I couldn’t say to her
When she made me mad,
It was only a few lines,
But I felt somehow that getting the words out
Made my world a little better.
I wasn’t upset anymore,
I stopped pouting, and
Went on with my day.
I don’t even remember what the fight was about.
A television show?
The last can of pop?
Not paying attention –
Or wanting too much attention?
Whatever it was doesn’t matter now,
It was so long ago.
What does matter is that
Poetry came into my room,
Held me up and gave me courage
when all courage seemed so far away.
Over the years poetry came and went in my life,
Sometimes I read the poems
of Frost, or Whitman, or, Eliot, or Auden –
great poets of the Modern age.
Sometimes I go further back to
Blake, and Shelley,
Wordsworth, or Byron.
Those old Romantics who wrote about nature and love,
And how one’s life can be altered forever
By true and utter beauty.
And the things I could tell you about Canadian poets –
Milton Acorn, Gwendolyn MacEwen,
Raymond Souster, Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje,
George Elliot Clark and Dennis Lee,
To name a few...
We Canadians can hold our own,
of that, I am certain.
Other times, I keep company with poets,
Friends of mine who are inspired by words
And are writing, not for fame and fortune,
But because nothing else will say it right.
For them, poetry is perfect.
To them, poetry is the perfect vessel
For their ideas.
And what of you and your friends,
My niece who lives so far away?
What will poetry mean to you?
Will it only be an assignment –
Something that has to be done?
Or, will you turn to poetry
Because it’s in your heart too?
Whatever it is,
Whatever you decide to do,
It will be perfect,
Because it comes from you.
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