Finally back through everything. February was filled with pain, doctor's appointments, tests and procedures to discover a gluten allergy. March was filled with a pride filled teacher work stoppage and lots, and when I say lots, I mean lots. of snow. But now it's back to one of my favorite parts of AP Lit class. I actually found a new poet that I really love. Yet again another Button Poetry poet and two time National Poetry Slam champion, Sierra DeMulder. Acceptance by Sierra DeMulder is all about the process of finally starting to get over a relationship. I found this poem at the perfect time. Finally being able to begin getting over my past relationship, seeing this poem made me take the first step.
She begins the poem talking about dreaming of "you" last night. I think the way she addresses them as if she is speaking to them is interesting. I believe it's a way for her to feel like she is making progress because she can finally talk of/too them. It's a way of talking to them without ever really talking to them. Which I think is such a big deal, especially in the beginning even the thought of talking is so difficult. She continues by describing how it did not hurt to have this dream and to see or touch them which is such a big step in this process. I think this poem while being about this process and person it's also about her self victory.
She compares her past love to peonies and connects how natural it is to hold their face and kiss them as it is to smell the flowers or to enter a house. Through this, she represents how natural everything becomes with your partner and how much of a difference not doing any of these things has on the normalcy of your life. I really understood this because once that one huge part of the past two years for me disappears, it's almost like completely starting a new life and learning how to do things again for yourself and reflecting. She also connects them to a flower once again at the end saying, "The bloom of your cheeks (like all living things) had a season." pushing her mind set of starting to finally be over them and that they're time or season in her life had come and gone and doesn't need to be dragged out because there are more seasons and more people/opportunities.
I think the most important shift in this poem to notice is her line, "I belong here." starting there she starts to focus on how she's over coming and getting through and not remember the things they did. How she's living for herself now. I also think it is important to notice the use of italics in the poem but for only three lines. The first being, "I belong here." and then the final two also being the last two lines of the poem, "I lived here once. I need not return." which I believe are the most important lines of the poem and the fact she italicized them pushes that even further. I think those two lines show more than anything her strength and her ability to realize what she had and to appreciate the time but to also realize that she does not and should not want to or yearn to go back.
Back again and with another poem from the Instagram poet Christopher Poindexter but this time it's straight from his book I received for Christmas. I was randomly flipping through the book and stopped on page 47 and instantly fell in love. The poem enforces the idea of self importance. Also, he really stresses that we aren't ever told or taught self love. As someone who used to and still sometime does struggle with self love and importance this one really hit home and I knew instantly this was my poem for my next blog post.
In this poem he bring up how from the start of life we aren't taught to live for ourselves but someone else. He writes, "i learned when i was young / the way to live / is to give yourself away / to people who need you, who need / love," While yes, we do need to be able to give ourselves to others who need someone and who need love that should not be the only way to live. From a young age we should be taught to live is to take care and love and value yourself. If we can't see the importance and love from ourselves how do we give it to others? It eventually get very difficult to do that.
He starts the poem by saying, "i have so many things / inside me / i loathe." which I unfortunately believe is true for so many young people. From the mindset of being told to live for others we bring ourselves down till we see nothing we love anymore and that's a shame. We need to love us for us and being told younger live for yourself would immediately boost our confidence and love. I think he truly shows the process of making that switch towards the end of the poem. He states, "but a decade later and / i still marry my flesh / each morning. / 'i give myself to you, boy, / fuck the others' / the flesh says to me." by including the fact that it is an everyday process and does not just happen over night (each morning to him). It's a tough process of saying everyday and trying to get in the mind set that your body is yours and you must love it unconditionally.
He ends the poem on such a heartbreaking note that is so impactful to me. He ends saying, "my heart weeping / quietly for deliverance / somewhere in a / corner." which I believe is talking about the moment when he can truly love himself and live life for himself. Deliverance being an act of setting free or rescued I feel is a play on that feeling of freedom and un-explainable warmth that will be felt once he achieves this and gets his heart back to where it belonged in the first place. I also love his use of lower case letters. I feel like it gives this poem (and all his other ones) such a raw, innocent, and vulnerable feeling to them. Through that I feel like it pushes how hard of a topic some of this and how much you have to emotionally open up to write poetry and expose a part of yourself that people may not get to see normally.
Truth is Beauty (2013) - Marco Cochrane
Hi there, I'm back and not with another Neil Hilborn poem actually. This actually wasn't my original poem this week, but I was looking at more ideas halfway through my other one and instantly fell in love with this one (to the point I spent a solid 20 minutes searching his Instagram for what I hopefully believe is the title) and just had to put the other one on hold until next time. Naked Human is by Christopher Poindexter is a beautifully short yet heart clenching (at least for me) and hard hitting poem. A little fact about Christopher Poindexter is that his poetry is all written on and then posted to his Instagram or Tumblr and that's how he gained popularity ended in him having published collections. Now back to the real reason you all are here, his poem.
The first line of this poem doesn't leave time to get settled it just immediately pulls you in, or at least it pulled me in. All my life I have been told I "love too much" and it's taken me a long time to truly understand and embrace it. He states that she should be proud of that and being older I can truly agree with that. Being told that all my life that I do love too much made it seem like something ashamed of. There wouldn't be a reason someone is pointing it out if it was a good thing right? But in a world filled with people who have no love sometimes like he says, you need to be the one to have "too much". Being able to love no matter what and through everything is something you should never hide or feel ashamed of. It's taken me years to realize this fully and I believe that's what drew me into this poem so much.
Poindexter writes "wear that blessing in your chest like a second heart." which I think is an interesting way to put it. I believe he talks about not putting all of your love into one thing or heart. To actually wear it as a "second heart" and always have a little extra love to give. Through your pain and heartache you still always have this second heart from loving "too much" that you won't ever be able to not love. Also, how he calls it a blessing adds back the positive connotation that is needed to be able to fully appreciate it. I feel like the way we always say it as loving "too much" makes it a negative thing and it's why so many people think its a bad thing that they do and by him saying it's a blessing counters the feeling given with too much.
His last line can take many meanings to different people. To say, "some people are just too tired for love" evokes a strong feeling. To me that brings out heartbreak because to have gotten to the point where these people are too tired is showing the struggle and pain they have gone through to get to this point. On the other hand, it could mean that people are too tired with others and how they treat love and don't love enough that they just aren't bothered anymore with it. From the mind of a girl who loves too much and too deeply I connected with this poem very quickly and take it too heart. Just always remember no matter how much or how little you love always be proud of it.
*Disclaimer: I know for a fact that Naked Human is the name of his book and I'm not 100% positive that this poem even has a name or if it is also named Naked Human.
Unknown by Kim Sun Hyuk
We're back and just as excited as before with a brand new poem. On a different note, I think I have a new favorite poet who I hope you enjoy cause it's week two of a Neil Hilborn poem. Neil Hilborn's poem, Me, But Happy talks about the feelings, thankfulness, and overall love he has for his partner, (I know another post you get to hear me talk about how great love is and my girlfriend). I yet again connected to this poem from the first line I read (it's easy to connect if you understand the feelings it's portraying) and fell in love with the rest of it. He goes on to talk about all the ways he has changed within himself after meeting them. He thanks them for "making all the love songs mean something again" which seems like a silly statement but to some it's the difference between smiling or not. One of the biggest changes someone can have is the change of feeling like you have to do something but now wanting to do it, Neil Hilborn mentions brushing his teeth as something he doesn't have to do but he "gosh darn" wants to now. Which is something that made me giggle and connect to because whenever I know I'm going to see her I always double brush my teeth, chew some gum, and put on more deodorant and perfume. He makes multiple references connecting doing something with them to a grander almost ridiculous counter. For example, he compares hanging out with them to smashing your face into cool wet sand, holding their hand to making out with Jesus, and being okay with having rickets (a softening and weakening of bones in children, usually due to inadequate vitamin D) just because they would have it together.
Hilborn starts to thank them which is one of the simplest ways to show how much you love someone in my opinion. The first one he states, "I would like to thank you for never, not once, not ever making fun of me for crying while I watch the same scene from Parks and Recreation for the 25th time.", I immediately connected to the serious part about crying. As a very emotional person who cries at everything no matter how many times I have seen or read something I have personally thanked her for that also. It's such an uplifting feeling to not have someone make fun of something that you can't always control like that. He mentions getting distracted by how pretty they are all the time showing how much you train of thought will revolve around that person. Your thoughts and mentality do change when you are in love. He mentions his mental illness which a lot of people to live and struggle with but he says how before he wanted to be dead all of the time it has now changed, "...now that you're here I don't want to 'want to die' anymore" which I also believe enforces the idea that a person can sometimes work better than any medicine prescribed. Myself personally I know my anxiety has gotten easier to control and handle since meeting her. Sometimes that one person can be your reason to get up and go on with your day and I believe he beautifully and comedically words it, "If you're a breakfast, you'd be called 'reason to wake up'os'." All through out this poem he knows how to balance the serious topics with the funny counter.
I think his last sentence successfully pulls all of the feelings and ideas into one thought. There is all these unexplained things but they don't matter anymore with them. He writes, "Sure, there're probably infinite dimensions but I'm with you in this one so why would I try to find them?" which I think is such a creative way to say that he doesn't need to find anything else because he has found it all with them. To be able to find someone who means the world to you, or has become your world in a sense, I think is such a beautiful thing. Most people feel they never will or spend so much time searching for it but the key is to just not search. You have to wait and let it come to you and all of it will fall into place and it will be "the best thing that has happened to me since I was like... born." and the rest will be history. Me, But Happy by Neil Hilborn talks about the joys and changes experienced through out loving someone. Love changes a person and I think this poem beautifully conveys that in such a serious yet funny way.
"When I'm around you it's like I'm full of electricity..."
Expansion - Paige Bradley
Sometimes in your life you're able to meet someone who becomes everything. Who you will always wonder how you got and always thank God for. In this poem, it explains that experience. In I Cannot Answer You Tonight by Neil Hilborn, starts by saying "No one ever taught me how to pray, so I won't. So instead I'll say this:" which I believe touches on the concept that you don't have to be heavily religious or pray to be able believe in God or to thank God. Everyone has something they believe in whether or not it is God you don't have to practice to believe.
To have someone in you life to be thankful and remember such little things about is beautiful. The way he uses insatiable hair to describe messy hair I think is really showing the way people's point of view of others change. Everything most people find bad or annoying or ugly now has become such a beautiful thing in their eyes. Instead of saying messy hair in an almost negative connotation he uses insatiable to give it a positive connotation I feel really portrays the change people will have.
The lengths people will go to be able to see each other I believe he shows through in the end of this. I personally really connected to the end of this because I appreciate every visit and moment I get to see her. Knowing how quick night time visits can make everything worth while made me appreciate this poem so much more. His last line, "...god bless you, though the hour is late, for you have come to me at last." I feel has such raw innocence in it and also a hint of vulnerability. The vulnerability and fear of them not coming shows through in the mention of how late it has become but the relief in them making it by the use of at last.
Now, the title was the part of this poem that stumped me. Why call it I Cannot Answer You Tonight? So it got me thinking, what if this was a response poem. What if someone asked him why he loved them or why he wanted them. Maybe this was his thoughts after the fact. There's no set in stone answer for that kind of question so his response was "I cannot answer you tonight" but he immediately had thoughts run through his mind.
We read this poem one day during my AP Literature class and I immediately fell in love with it. I looked more into it to realize that he was a slam poet and I had actually heard many of his poems before. This poem as a whole has such a deep meaning and understanding to a relationship that I find beautiful and can connect too. There's such a raw innocence with this poem that is perfectly blended with a deep intense feeling. To have a connection and passion with someone is such a rare and lovely thing that is put beautifully into words with this poem.
Woman In Bed Relief Wood Carving - Artist Unknown
Have you ever read something that you just could not get to leave your mind? "Chaos Theory" by Clinton Smith was that for me. This poem explores the idea of how one small difference could change everything, the people we know, the way we are, who we are, everything. That something so small as a butterfly would change the people we met in our lives. It has to ability to get under your skin and resonate within you and that is what got me. That and the fear it struck within me after finishing it. In the poem Clinton Smith writes, "maybe we would both be plants on opposite sides of the same coral reef, so that we could have been connected without ever having met," is another powerful statement. To think about having a connection yet not even knowing with an important person in your life makes you really think, who aren't you meeting.
This poem's end had the deepest lasting effect on me, "but what I mean to say is that it would have been such a tragedy if something happened that would have prevented me from meeting you". At this time in my life, I have someone in my life who means this much to me. It's this that made me freeze and think about this poem for days. The raw innocence in this poem about the fear of losing some one so special to you is so easily relatable. It made me think that if a butterfly could change anything, what would have happened if I never decided to move back to West Virginia. I would have never met her, I would have never fallen in love, I would have never found my passion for teaching, I would have never dyed my hair purple, I would have never met the best group of friends I have ever had, I would have never gotten my fish, I would have never connected and grown with my sister as much, I would have never gotten a cactus. It's the little things as well as the big things he makes you appreciate.
When I first read this, I never focused as much on the butterfly until a few times later. Maybe he chose the butterfly for a deeper meaning. Why a butterfly, I kept thinking and thinking until I went to look up a type of butterfly and the butterfly effect appeared in the search engine and it clicked. This poem can be a play on the butterfly effect and that's why he chooses the butterfly as his main reference. The butterfly effect states, small causes can have larger effects. Clinton Smith ponders the effects a butterfly flying in the wrong direction changing who we are, if we ever met, or if we ever existed. Therefore referencing something small changing something so much larger. Whether or not that was his way of thinking, that idea made me appreciate the poem much more than before and share it with so many more people.
Fallen (2015), Paul Villinski
17, senior at Spring Mills High School in Martinsburg, West Virginia. I drink too much tea and have a candle lit probably too long and too much. Usually if I am drinking coffee it has extra caramel in it. I belong to the 3.4% of people in West Virginia who are gay and I'm extremely proud. My hair's purple and I have a cute stud on the left side of my nose.
I struggle with stress and anxiety which makes me go crazy sometimes. I'm very emotional and may cry a tad too much. I most definitely wear my heart on my sleeve and probably the biggest hopeless romantic you will meet. I fidget and can't sit still half the time but I still manage to get things done.
My favorite colors, maroon and gray, while some people call them dark and drab I call it beautiful. While they are darker colors they can come from a light color, pink and white, but also black to make it darker. My favorite fruit is pineapple, and eat too much chicken especially nuggets. `I have a beautiful fish named Melvyn and an adorable cactus named Janet (named while I was watching Rocky Horror Picture Show).
Beautiful things in my eyes:
Now don’t confuse that with being alone. At times I enjoy being alone, left to be with myself, to breathe, and prepare myself to get back out there but loneliness that’s different. That is being in a room full of people and felling like they are all faceless, emotionless, not actually there. That even though you have a group of people who call themselves your friends you still feel like you are the only one you can turn to.
Oh and spiders….I'm terrified of spiders.
Things I keep at the top of my thoughts: Try not to take yourself to seriously. Laugh, live a little, let yourself be the weird ass you know you are and don’t care about what others think of you.
I am Molly Herdering and that's just a little part of who I am.