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.
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.