Poetry, Again?

If you are a teacher or have something to do with technology in schools, you are probably tired of my posts about writing and poetry.

But that’s what’s on my mind these days, even as I continue to work with teachers on project-based learning or digital writing.

Poetry has squirmed its way into my soul. I love playing with language and discovering ways to reflect on my life. If you’re not into poetry, well, read what David Orr, poetry critic for The New York Times says:

“I don’t know that people ought to bother. I think that poetry is one of those choices you make in life that’s … it’s not really susceptible to reasoning or arguments.”

But his reason is MY reason: “Orr says he reads poetry because it helps him negotiate the world around him and understand his own feelings about that world.”

A friend recently shared the work of Virginia Hamilton Adair, who published her first of poetry when she was 83. Not that she didn’t publish poems in magazine and literary journals. She did. But according the Afterword by Robert Mezey, “she wished to write exactly what she pleased and how she pleased, and believed she could more easily enjoy that freedom outside the official literary world.” He writes more about her watching others struggle with desire for fame and recognition–and “how painful and corrosive both hunger and fame could be.”

She wanted none of it.

She lived a life of writing for the joy of writing, though she certainly had great loss and grief, for which poetry became balm and comfort.

There you are. Thanks, Seth, for sharing Virginia with me.

Ants on the Melon, A Collection of Poems
Virginia Hamilton Adair