(Amanda Voisard/For The Washington Post)
This week in anticipation of National Poetry Month the Washington Post published Garrison Keillor’s piece, “The Secret Delight of Poetry.” What a treat! His dry wit and wry sense of humor are evident in full force and it was an utter delight to read from start to finish. Here’s one small excerpt:
“This is the power of poetry. Poets get the girl.
Football heroes get concussions or need hip replacements. My classmates who played football are walking with canes and moaning when they sit down, and they find it hard to figure out the 10 percent tip at lunch. We poets go sashaying along, perpetually 17, lost in wonder at the ordinary, astonished by streetlights, in awe at lawn ornaments, bedazzled by baristas releasing steam into milk for the lattes.”
The man can write, can’t he? I’ve read that final phrase over and over–“bedazzled by baristas releasing steam…” Ahhh…. There is also a more serious vein to his piece, though, hidden among the hyperbole.
“This is what you learn during Poetry Month. You may lose the vote, fall into debt, suffer illness and remorse, feel lost in the crowd, and yet there is in language, everyday language, a source of such sweet delight…”
This year, more than most, I’ve been reminded of the power of language, of words–the power to explain, the power to mislead, the power to divide and the power to unify. I’ve written to explore this new world we live in and to express my concern, my sorrow, my confusion and sometimes, my anger. I’ve written to share moments of joy and gratitude and to explore relationships and ideas. And sometimes I’ve written to experience the sheer beauty of playing with words and combining them in a new or unusual way. I’ve found solace and clarity in writing, and above all else, I’ve found community.
With this post I’m finishing the TWT Slice of Life Challenge: I’ve now blogged 31 days in a row. I finish feeling enriched by participating and feeling incredibly thankful for online writing communities–places where I can join with others in a celebration of all the “sweet delights” of language, both poetic and prosaic.
If you’re interested in delighting in poetry, head on over to this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup hosted by the wonderful Amy Ludwig VanDerwater at her blog The Poem Farm. Take some time to browse through Amy’s rich home to all things poetic. You’re sure to come away delighted!