Today I am grateful for poetry. April is National Poetry Month, so I know I’m jumping ahead a little, but I don’t care.

When I was growing up and struggling in school, I hated poetry. It was stuffy and boring and usually written by people who don’t have a clue about life. . .according to my teenage brain.

One of the first things I wrote when I was in therapy a billion years ago was called, “I cry”. I have no idea what happened to it, because that was a typewriter, three word processors and 10 computers ago. The title pretty much sums up the poem. I took it to my group and THEY said it was a poem. Go figure. I had no clue. I soon began regurgitating a poem every time I had deep feelings. FYI-I have deep feelings a lot.
What I didn’t realize as a kid is that poetry, like everything else, is subjective. You won’t like it all, just like you won’t like reading the books of every author who ever lived. I’m not a big fan of Shakespeare. It just has too many esoteric thoughts and figure-out-the-TRUE-meanings for me. I don’t want to work that hard to get a message. Lazy? I prefer discerning. There, report me to the Writers Guild of America for being an ignorant writer.

What I like best about poetry is the brutal editing, the honing down of words until every single syllable, word and description works to give flow, direction and integrity to the theme of the poem. Wow! Who said that? Mary Mooney? I almost sound like I have a clue what I’m talking about.

Who knew poetry was everywhere? If you think you don’t like poetry, just like I did, go on line and print the lyrics of your favorite song. It’s poetry. Read the Bible. Poetry. Greeting cards. Poetry. Children’s books. Poetry. Some comics or political cartoons. Poetry. Scripts. Poetry. It can be soft, liquid and peaceful, or it can be hard, crude and dark. It can inspire and anger. It can rhyme or not. It can be straight on the page or configured loosely, in different shapes or scattered like a puzzle.

Because I’m an audible learner, and a confirmed chatterbox, I prefer hearing poetry out loud. Open poetry readings are harder and harder to come by, but I sure hope I find a few in April, because I’m very grateful for poetry. Below is one of mine. . .

by Mary Mooney

Dare the poet speak to you?
In sestina, sonnet, or haiku?

Dare you hope each written line
Was birthed with only you in mind?

Dare him, damn him, forget him, too!
The poet speaks to ME. . .not you!

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