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The Reluctant Poet

Updated: Oct 26, 2019


She picks words as she picks popcorn from a bowl, without looking, without effort. She threads them together as she threads beads into bracelets and necklaces, making of them something more beautiful than one might expect. A jolt of surprise when they are complete.

The poems and stories she crafts are more mature than you might expect from a 12-year-old. She has a gift with words. And it was so even when she was eight. This is what wrote in response to the prompt “I Am…”

Recently, she had a class assignment to write a response to a poem. Here’s the poem first, and then her response.

I say with admiration, “You are a poet!”

She says, dismissively, “I hate poetry.”

I am shocked. “What? Why?” I ask.

“I like things to be straightforward, easy to understand. Poetry is not.”

“But you are a poet!” I say. Her face is sullen.

“A reluctant poet,” I continue, teasingly, appeasingly. Her face relaxes.

She has the words to say what she wants, and self-assurance. She is an accomplished debater, having made it through many rounds at a grueling school debate in fourth grade. But after that she waved off further participation. “I’m not interested,” she says.

You are good with words, I tell her. You express yourself very well. That is a gift. If you take care to always use words with kindness and respect, you will do very well in life.

#poetry #writing #words #debate #parenting #child

Dear Reader,

There are always gremlins on websites. Some stole the comments that some of you had posted, from every page. Luckily, I had copies, and I have pasted those images back here. I love hearing from you. Please use the Comments box to share your thoughts as Disqus is no longer supported. I will try keep the gremlins at bay.

--Raji.



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