April is national poetry month. I’m elated because it is one of my favorite genres. Poetry is a beautiful language. No matter who authors a poem, it will always be different because it’s super descriptive and it’s multidimensional.
One of my favorite reasons to write poetry is the license that comes with it—you know, a poetic license.
In fact, I was able to convince many of my former students to engage in this beautiful genre because it was a way for them to express themselves without feeling the pressure of following the conventions that come with writing prose.
Of course, poetry has its own conventions, however, when a poet needs to use her/his license, it’s good to have it and know what to do with it.
There have been some wonderful and important poets who have left great works behind. And having studied some of their works, I’ve been amazed at how different the same story can be told by different writers.
In each poet’s work, there is usually a message that the reader must be astute enough to figure out, which is the draw to this unique language.
One of the most astonishing facts to me is how people from years ago had such a command of the language and spoke so eloquently even when they barely had formal education or barely spoke English.
Yet, they could pick up a quill and move mountains with such strong language or open a heart with such sweet words. Some of the greats include, but in no way are limited to, Dunbar, Keats, Hughes, Shelley or Wheatley, Angelo, Wordsworth, Yeats, Frost, or Toomer, Baraka, Lorde, and the list is endless.
These poets represent a powerful movement of 19th and 20th Century poets who have left an indelible mark on our society. They are a part of a canonized group of men and women, African American and Caucasian, whose works have been permanently cemented into the body of high culture of literary works darning the title of The Classics.
While my work has not been canonized, I am a serious poet and have had the pleasure of being a published poet.
I have accepted many invitations to deliver renditions of my work to mixed audiences of laypeople and fellow poets.
It is national poetry month, so I invite all of you to celebrate the language, the poet, and the expressiveness that comes with every poet’s delivery of the spoken word.
I’m feeling poetic and would like to leave you with one of my own poems. It can be found in my book, Flying on Broken Wings.
A beautiful golden baby!
Plumped up with rousing kisses, stolen smiles,
Momma loving between the shadows
But envied secrets prevailed—
in a moment sweltering of torn pain,
Clipped wings not yet ready to fly
Now I Have…
Fettered wings, young, and strong,
Bridled by bits of life’s
Unable to break the momentum’s grip
Struggling with a child’s wisdom
Fly on Broken Wings
poised and peppered along the lines of my life
Searching, finding me somewhere in between
Fly on Broken Wings
Now I Am…
Flying with all my stuff
Against all odds, branding my savoir-faire
in that narrow space of found dreams
Resting in this season of lighted hope
FLYING ON BROKEN WINGS
I hope you enjoyed that. Until next time, keep flying on your own wings.