(crossposted from Facebook)
They spent 16 years teaching me not to listen to myself, but then they also had the gall to try to teach me about poetry.
Listen. When I read poems in school, I felt nothing. Nobody had told me there was anything to feel. We talked about meter, or symbolism, as if those things were the point, and it never occurred to me that those things are not the point, and it would never have occurred to me that the point is to listen for the music coming from the poet’s soul – because I didn’t even know that was an option, and even if I had I wouldn’t have had the slightest idea how, and anyway it wouldn’t have improved my grade in English class.
Now I am just barely, barely beginning to understand that poetry is how a soul makes itself understood, because I am just barely, barely beginning to see and hear souls at all.