Here's my response to being tagged by poet, Collin Kelley, for this Meme--I am going to answer quickly, with little or no thought as to how this sounds; I think the first response to questions--or in this case--finishing statements, is the most telling, and the most truthful...
The first poem I remember reading was:
Probably Dr. Seuss, at age two...but the one I remember most--I probably learned it at about age 11-- is the ee cummings poem which ends with hands...here it is:
[somewhere i have never travelled]
somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skillfully,mysteriously) her first rose
or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain, has such small hands
That last line of his, still mesmerizes me...
I was forced to memorize numerous poems and:
subsequently became quite good at memorization, in general.I can recite several Shakesperean Sonnets--out of love, not force!
I read poetry because:
nothing can simultaneously make me feel sad, joyous, desperate, suicidal--so quickly, and so well!
A poem I'm likely to think about when asked about a favorite poem is:
Why I'm Not A Buddhist, by Molly Peacock
and also Daddy, by Sylvia Plath(I'll never get over her, I suppose!)
Here's that poem by Molly Peacock:
WHY I AM NOT A BUDDHIST
I love desire, the state of want and thought
of how to get; building a kingdom in a soul
requires desire. I love the things I've sought-
you in your beltless bathrobe, tongues of cash that loll
from my billfold- and love what I want: clothes,
houses, redemption. Can a new mauve suit
equal God? Oh no, desire is ranked. To lose
a loved pen is not like losing faith. Acute
desire for nut gateau is driven out by death,
but the cake on its plate has meaning,
even when love is endangered and nothing matters.
For my mother, I wished for health; for my sister, bereft,
I wanted wholeness. But why is desire suffering?
Because want leaves a world in tatters?
How else but in tatters should a world be?
A columned porch set high above a lake.
Here, take my money. A loved face in agony,
the spirit gone. Here, use my rags of love.
I have always been labeled very NON-materialistic, and I think what Peacock does here is show that desire can be, simply, for anything--and everything...I think desire is what drives all of us.
I write poetry but:
if I could not, I might have a serious breakdown. Writing poetry is what I DO--what I must do, when I find myself hurting, or longing, or deliriously happy--I tend to experience life in extremes, though I'm working on a balance, of sorts...
I find poetry:
when I hear someone laugh in an odd way, or cry for something or someone they lost, or when my almost-niece holds her hand(yikes!) over the Easy Bake Oven's stovetop, saying, threatingly, "Is It Hot Yet?"; I also find poetry in my dogs' rapidly jerking and twisting legs, their paws moving forward, as they sleep...
The last time I heard poetry:
was about a week ago, when I listened to The Writers' Almanac--online!
I think poetry is like:
nothing else, and yet...it is like almost anything completely SENSORY...swallowing a rich, luscious scoop of caramel ice cream.Kissing a woman with really full lips.Running my hands over a man with caramel color skin.
Will Kenyon, C. Cleo Creech, and M. Ayodele Heath.