An Affair With Poetry

There's a Ghanaian tradition that most junior high school students look forward to: going away to boarding school to high school. It is often the first time in the lives of many Ghanaian teenagers to live not under the noses of our often strict parents. We love to choose the schools that are furthest away from home. The further away, the cooler we appear to our mates, and the prouder our parents are. Most of the best schools were not in the capital city of Accra, but in smaller towns like Cape Coast, where my own boarding school was located. It was a four hour drive from home. The school was situated on top of a hill, in the midst of a little forest; full of gigantic trees which were home to several monkeys.

At school, it was part of the system to study for about an hour each night. We gathered in study halls, and tried to read our notes to prepare for the next day of classes. These were the times when I wrote poems. Pretending that I was studying my awfully boring notes, I used to write, and sometimes tried to sing them in my head.

In college, majoring in English literature, I took  several poetry classes. After college, I used to write at least a poem a day. I have not done this for some time now. I was very disappointed to not have made it into an MFA program and to punish myself, I stopped writing.

Yesterday evening, I got hold of a poetry anthology from my college days and reading it felt very good. Poetry has a way of making me feel alive in an incredible sort of way. It has a way of making my imagination fancy itself in-love. It's to me a hymn that my essence can't do without. I remember now that I am happier, and better when I read and write. I am going to go back to reading at least a poem a day, and writing at least a line a day.

Do you read and, or write poetry? Please share your experience with me if you don't mind. I leave you with the poem below. I read it for the first time yesterday, and I find it very beautiful and comforting. It is the perfect satire for my own writing skills.

To Helen of Troy (N.Y.)
by Peter Viereck


I sit here with the wind is in my hair;
I huddle like the sun is in my eyes,
I am (I wished you’d contact me) alone.

A fat lot you’d wear crape if I was dead.
It figures, who I heard there when I phoned you;
It figures, when I came there, who has went.

Dogs laugh at me, folks bark at me since then;
“She is,” they say, “no better than she ought to;”
I love you irregardless how they talk.

You should of done it (which it is no crime)
With me you should of done it, what they say.
I sit here with the wind is in my hair.

---
Listen to my reading of "To Helen of Troy (N.Y.) below:

Comments

  1. Everything that makes your soul come alive makes life worth living, you should definitely try to continue to read, write & breath poems in other words, Jane :>

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Jane

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