April- Poetry Month


“Artists and poets are the raw nerve ends of humanity. By themselves they can do little to save humanity. Without them there would be little worth saving.”

Anonymous.

Ah, poetry. Of all the words in the English vocabulary, this can sometimes be the scariest. The idea of bearing your soul for all to read, let alone the idea of having to put words to your feeling. Sometimes there aren’t even words to describe, so you’re left using metaphors and analogies to try and assign a picture to your feeling. Maybe it’s even the idea of reading someone else’s soul that is scary. Not really understanding what the poet is saying or trying to get at and reading as they attempt to validate their darkest thoughts and invading on the most intimate moments of their life. But, in reality, that is the coolest part. It’s like the poet just handed you their pair of glasses and you’re seeing the world through their personalized lenses. The way they view humanity, hope, and love. You’re let into the conversations they have had, the places they have been, and the things they see when they close their eyes. If you are patient, you can breathe the same air that they have breathed. Hear what they have heard and feel the sensations that they have felt. When you read poetry, you are all-in-all putting on the perspective of the author. And when you really listen, you can hear the whispers of their soul, their deepest desires being made known to you. Sometimes you’ll get a shiver, but other times you’ll feel a warmth. At first you might see it as all the same, perhaps just a cry for help, but keep reading and you’ll find that there is a difference. When a soul speaks, it shows its character. Some souls are old, some quirky, some deep, and some dark. And every now and then, you’ll read a poem and feel your soul click. It might not be an exact match, but similar, nonetheless. Like accidentally finding a pair of glasses so alike your favorite pair. A feeling similar to discovering your bosom buddy or compadre. You may also find a pair that makes you a little uncomfortable, perhaps the prescription impairs your vision. Or a funky one, with lenses from the 70’s, in which perhaps the shade isn’t far off from your own pair, the frame just made it look so.

Poetry may not be your cup of tea (or coffee), but if you’ve ever had the desire to know someone, to really know someone, then I suggest picking up a work of poetry. In the image of God, who knows our innermost workings, we too desire to know someone intimately. If not one, then many. And what better way to know someone intimately than to peer into their soul.

The following is a poem written by Mary Jo Goosmann, NCU Academic Services Administrative Assistant:

Ode to the Middle

Here’s to the half-started,
half-finished,
unsightly,
unsettling,
messy,
Instagram-unworthy
inner workings of life.

Here’s to the moments well after the first bite
and before the last;
The dirty dishes moments,
the mow-your-lawn on a cloudy day times,
or stand in the crowded checkout line hours.

Here’s to the mediocre hair days,
wardrobe almost-functions,
and spaghetti sauce spills

right between the legs of your pants.
Here’s to the moments in between
the great and the horrible
that your insurance company deems unworthy

but you definitely did not enjoy.

Here’s to the real meat of your actuality:
the most time-consuming,
the most unspectacular,
the most unromantic,
the most soul-neutralizing,
daily, every day, blah of your existence.

Here’s to the middle

of life:

filled with repetition,
doubt,
suspicion,
and heartache.
And here’s to you, hero of your story,
facing every Monday head-on,
believing in yourself after failing yet again,
caring for others after they let you down once more,
relying on God’s strength “too much.”

Here’s to you
seeking and finding Truth,
experiencing joy even when it’s just a little,
accepting love from small difference-makers,
and finding solidarity in shared struggles.

Here’s to the Ordinarily Ever Afters
and Once Upon a Monday Mornings,
but most of all here’s to the rest of the story:
because there,

in the middle,

is you.

The following is a poem by Lindsey Quigley, NCU Technical Services Supervisor:

When did I realize I love you?

It wasn’t a moment, but a series of

moments

Cascading, tumbling through my mind

as I write.

Your tender embrace, your warm

heart.

Your heart, beating gently, closed off

from mine. I want to see it, comfort it.

Give it room to breathe.

You help me breathe. You believe in

me. Letting me open up.

Vulnerable, scared, wiping the tears

from my eyes.

Your eyes, beautiful when they lock

on mine. Letting me exist as I am.

I am full of love for whoever will take it.

Messy, genuine, romantic in my endeavors.

Endeavoring to feel without hurting,

hoping to give without feeling loss, lost.

When did I realize I love you?

When you made me feel as if all those thoughts were ok.

Poetry month is a time to experiment. Read someone’s poem, create your own, and even try blackout poetry. You might be surprised at what you find, perhaps it was there all along.

Stop by the Kellenberger library sometime this month to try blackout poetry! There is a station to rip pages out of books and blackout some words. Also, feel free to send in your original poetry to get featured.

“In my opinion, Poetry and Libraries go hand-in-hand. One tries to express themselves, potentially riling up authority and making people angry. While Libraries serve the Poet and aim to protect their works at all costs. So, come check out the many books of poetry we have in our library. ” -Lindsey Quigley

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