Someone asked me that today and I gave it an honest thought. There are so many out there, you know? Some poem’s stand out and remain on the surface of your skin for decades. I mean if you don’t know any poem out there…and you read Twilight you know at least one. Robert Frost’s Fire and Ice poem. You laugh but it’s a good one.Oh and Edgar Allen Poe is basically a household name whether you've actually read his poetry or not. I liked his stories better myself. I liked E.E. Cummings a lot in school because he experimented with form and punctuation which were always baffling for me. He was like “forget about it’ and I was like “um okay, sure!” During my days of depression I clung to Emily Dickenson for she wrote about death and immortality and what teen doesn’t like those two subjects! For whatever reasons, her poem “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” was ever and always one of my favorites. I even went so far as to name my first born after her.
But she isn’t my favorite poet. No, my favorite poet is not a dead poet. There are far too many poets out there that still breathe for me to casually give up my vote to a dead person. (Sorry all you awesome dead dudes/dudettes).
My favorite poet was a girl I met in my first semester of college. I remember her quite well. She was tall, at least 5’7. (Okay, tall compared to my short ass!) She had short red hair, cut in a boyish fashion. She had freckles on her face and arms, but not so many that it took away from her beautiful green eyes. I never saw her with make-up and her thin, perky lips were bare…but in a way that other women would be jealous for.
I only had her in one class but we hung out together in between classes on campus for hours at a time. We both wrote for the school paper, electing to share our poetry with the world in any meager ways we could. And at the time the school paper would suffice. Her poetry was not just the kind of poetry you enjoyed reading to yourself. It was poetry that you wanted to experiment with; say it aloud slowly and then fast. Saying it to yourself in different moods to see what new disposition it would create within you. It was that awesome. But there was something even better than all that….
It was hearing her say her poem…aloud…to me. I mean when she spoke the words of her poem she eluded from the world of monochromatic dialogue. Instead her voice took on a tone of courage. She wasn’t afraid her words would trip over one another. The poem was alive. It was alive in how the rhythm was spoken, in how her eyes danced as she emphasized certain words, in her body language. It only took one poem, just one and I was hooked. I could watch and listen to her poems forever, whenever.
I swear if I had not already married to my husband I would have married her just to be assured I would never have to go a day without her poetry. (Seriously, just kidding!) But her poetry really had a cutting edge to them. I know that is so cliche but it's true. They sliced through the air around us. I swear if there were like an alternate universe occuring at the same time, her other form would have been armed in battle armor and she'd be carrying Excalibur's sister!
Alas, my tale has a sad ending. I left school (temporarily) after that first semester. Oh, I’m sure I could find someone who knows of this person…but I’m not a stalker! Are you crazy? I only hope, no I pray that she never quit writing her poetry. That would be a sad, sad day.