Ode to the Unbroken

So tonight I return to Syracuse, New York for my final semester of college.  Yes, this May I will be graduating.

While I was lying in bed last night, not sleeping, I got to thinking about poetry.  I don’t remember why.  My brain is kind of unpredictable at the best of times, and it gets worse at night.  The moment I decide it’s time to drift off into a peaceful sleep, this happens:

Which is how I came up with the idea.  Then I wrote the whole blog post in my head, planned what I’m going to buy when I get back to school, thought about a million other things, and two hours later I finally fell asleep.

So poetry.  I don’t write poetry, and I don’t really read a lot of poetry.  It’s not that I don’t like it.  There are plenty of good poets out there – Shel Silverstein, Billy Collins, Emily Dickinson.  My favorite poem is “The Raven” by Poe.  I know I’m not the only one, but it can’t be helped.  I really do love that piece.  It flows.  It’s beautiful.  It’s eerie.  It’s just right for me.

In general, though, I tend to stay away from poetry.  For the most part, I think there’s something inherently wrong with being a Poet, because that implies that your job is to sit down and write poetry.  That means you’re making a conscious effort to make poetry happen.  You’re trying to create poetry.  And hey, maybe you’re really good at it.  But the problem is that when I read most poetry, it has that bitter aftertaste of Trying.  Even if that poem came from someone’s heart and soul, and they weren’t trying at all, and it just came to them one day while they were brushing their cat.  And then they titled their poem “The Cat’s Claw” and wrote about true pain that truly came from their cat’s claws as they tried to brush it.  I’ll still (probably) have trouble enjoying it.  And that’s all me, for the most part.  The only time it isn’t is if that person really was trying too hard, and sometimes that comes across to everybody.  Things like, “My heart fluttered like a butterfly caught in a storm,” might just have that forced effect no matter what you do.  But, as I said, I am the reason that I can’t typically enjoy poetry.  Doesn’t mean I hate poetry or poets or puppies or p…metaphors.  Just means that it’s not for me (usually).  I guess I just think that poetry should be spontaneous and…poetic, not commercial.  Not a career.  Natural, not forced.  And frankly I don’t think it’s for everyone.

That said, I did write one poem in my life.  I approve of it because it came spontaneously and naturally.  Out of nowhere.  I just sat down at a computer, started typing, and a few minutes later, I had a poem.  It is the only good poem I’ve ever written, and it is probably the only good poem I will ever write.  I can’t say for sure.  I can’t predict the future.

So I decided to post my only good poem in this blog, so maybe I can actually share it with some other people.  It’s called “Ode to the Unbroken,” and I wrote it for my best friend in our junior year of high school.  She was going through some tough times, and I wanted to write something that would encourage her and also reflect her strength and perseverance, because she really is one of the most steadfast and self-sufficient people I know.  This is what I came up with:

Do not turn away

You say

And turn to face the day

C’est la vie and

Come what may

Just words

No meaning

Somewhere someone is screaming

For help, for answers, for a God

In the endless sky

And you refuse to cry

And that is why

The Earth

Turns its shadowy side

To you

The view

Is much better

From where I stand

He says

See a girl

Unbreakable

Undefeated

Stand up

Step Down

No

You scream

And when the world

Turns back

You open your arms

And embrace

A tear down your face

He is your friend

No moment apart can rend

The bond that you share

Somewhere someone is looking

Over a girl

Enduring

Achieving

Supporting

Receiving

Help only when needed

She has succeeded

– Rebecca Leviton 2/15/07

And that’s it!  Hope you liked it.  I certainly do.  Obviously.  But don’t expect to see any more!

Word of the Day: Ode (n) – a lyric poem typically of elaborate or irregular metrical form and expressive of exalted or enthusiastic emotion.

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Filed under books, Humor, writing

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