You know your day is not going to be wonderful when you find a note on your desk using the word “cockamamie” in reference to something you will have to take care of. Sigh.
But aside from that…
As National Poetry Month draws to a close, I am realizing that it actually did have an effect on me this time. I did read more poetry (although I do read a fair amount) and I sought out new poets and new styles and…ohmygosh! I enjoyed it. I also thought about poetry more than usual. It’s not really something I think about generally at all but every year when NPM (oooh…an abbreviation! It must be important!) rolls around, the newspapers start saying the same old things, “is poetry important?” and “does any body really care?” After much thought, I have decided yes! I CARE! But I am still not sure how important it is.
Poetry still has the power to move people, but only when people read it. There are still poems that start discussion, start arguments and start trouble, but if you aren’t reading poetry, then how would you know? And much like every other bit of writing, well, there’s a lot of stuff out there. And that is both good and bad. I mean hey, there is a lot of stuff out there….but on the other hand, that means there is a lot of stuff to wade through before you find something that you like. Or maybe even find something you hate enough to give you that visceral response.
I’m no scientist but I have heard that doing crossword puzzles or soduku can help to keep your brain healthy and happy. (My mom does a crossword puzzle everyday to help protect herself from Alzheimer’s.) I’d like to suggest that poetry can do the same thing. Your brain has to work differently when you read or write poetry. If you want to rhyme, you are gonna need to stretch that mind (because they do say that nothing rhymes with orange). And if you want to write a haiku, or a sonnet, well, there are rules and those rules take some concentration, some math skills and some work. I’m willing to bet that poetry can work both sides of the brain. In fact, I think someone should fund a study on that!
Now go read a damn poem.