The Day I Got A “B” and Became {Why I Write Poetry}

“Why hasn’t anyone ever shared that my life is a poem?  That my mind thinks in prose, my thoughts are simply captured sonnets.”
– Journal Entry December 2012

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I couldn’t fathom her request.

She was telling me that if I moved some words around, altered my perspective and presented this paper, a paper of subjectivity, in a manner which she could better understand, my modest grade B could become a stunning letter A.

If I chose to conform, if I chose to put academic performance before creative expression than I could pass this class with a chance to bump up my grade point average.  An understandable effort made for a Grad School God.

But I was getting married soon, traveling was on the horizon, a switch in employment, a move back home and my anxious sensory nerves had already spiked and were crashing into the glossy cement floor at my feet.

I thanked her for her kindness.  I thanked her for the opportunity to change my paper and as a result, increase the grade.  I thanked her once more and shared that I wasn’t going to take her up on this offer and shared that this paper, as it is, took time and fulfilled all the requirements requested. It represented and expressed what I believed and thought.  It just didn’t feel how she wanted it to feel.

This was the moment I realized I’m not an academic.  Nor am I a publisher of papers, a writer of books, a wordsmith for measured gain over mindful creativity.

This was the day I refer to as “The day I got a ‘B’ and Became”.

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The day I got a ‘B’ and Became left me without a writing direction, though.

I continued to write, but I compared.

I began to do exactly what I chose not to on The day I got a ‘B’ and Became.

So I stopped writing, because the joy I once experienced through the written word became drown with voices of others and in time, as the story goes, I lost my own.

Until she smiled.
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Until Sweet Basil smiled and granted my non-linear thoughts permission to embrace writing in a new way.  A way in which I had never explored before.

Her smile loudly beckoned simple words to paper and a mindful attention to the process of putting words together as opposed to a focus on the result.  A lesson I had only started to learn seven years back The day I got a ‘B’ and Became.

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William Plomer writes that creativity is “the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.”

This is what writing poetry does for me.

Writing poetry assists in ushering my mind to hold hands with my spirit.

Writing poetry allows me an avenue to connect the unconnected.  To embrace this smallness of this world with the vast and mighty unknown.

Writing poetry grabs writing guidelines and comparisons from the throat and breaks open that which can only be experienced through the attention to a smile.

Writing poetry simply offers a permission to see and express a deeper meaning in that which is most common, beautiful, mundane and neglected.

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So each morning, I write.

I write poetry.

I sit alone in the darkness, await the coming of light and remember what gives me life, or what will cause me death, and I become.  I connect the unconnected, and in the process, find meaning.

I let go of comparisons and let this internal connection be my guidepost, a foundation for connecting the unconnected.

In honor of your very first birthday, my Sweet Basil, I created this for you.

*

Bend

With a touch of my palm to your still so
vulnerable head

May your spirit be open to receive the
already available
peace of God
love of God
strength of God
joy of God
omnipotent presence of God
from the very top of your head
down to the very tips of your toes

I lavishly bathe hopeful reception
into your skin

Each pore pleading for this tangible blessing

The white door welcomes my departure
tells me I’ve done all I could do, should do
parental obligations, salutations complete
farewell, my love, until the sun awakes

Intuition halts the gravitational pull into
an independence awaiting
just beyond your bedroom door
just beyond the caring and nurturing of you
into the caring and nurturing of me

This bending though

My fingers map their way back to your resting place
spell “I love you” with three roads and
I bend

With the weight of presenting darkness
pressing stubbornly into the
very same core of self that, moments ago, sought escape
from responsibility
from caring
I bend

Folding this self in half
I find your vulnerable head
tender spirit
and plant an impression of light
into your
winter red stained chapped cheeks

Exposed to the pull
I bend into the arc of reception

*

Sweet Basil, may you never need a ‘B’ to Become.  May this birth of creative poetic expression offer you permission to create wildly and freely in the years to come.

Thank you for your smile.

Pssst… If you want a few more resources to simply enjoy poetry, start here.

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4 thoughts on “The Day I Got A “B” and Became {Why I Write Poetry}

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