You may have encountered, over the past two seasons, our exploration on poetry and poets. We’ve stuffed poetry writing prompts in envelopes and stashed them around the hall. We’ve created mini-poetry books. We’ve held poetry slams and instituted an on-the-spot poetry bureau.
We have typewriters scattered about our offices and notepads with the prompt “Who is the Poet in Your Life?”
It’s been interesting to witness the ways in which people encounter these moments of poetic thought. It’s been gratifying to witness how many times it has inspired a poetic impulse.
We found the following poem on a table in our Royce Hall Pop-Up Library the other day. We’re not sure who wrote it or when. But, we love it. And we thank you, whoever you are for sharing it.
Half of my life is spent rolling my eyes
at dumb things I do or
I am rolling my eyes right
Who am I to act like a poet
To pretend like I am not inadequate
To talk myself up so I don’t feel the disappointment
that creeps into my veins without warning
These same veins that once flowed with the
hot blood of want
now stiff with doubt
Am I really doing all I can to succeed
Who am I to preach when I am guilty
I am a hypocrite of the worst kind
The one with the false pride
The one who attends church every Sunday
Yet cannot recall the last time I had a prayerful thought
Is this what it means to be humble?
When I am still faking sick to stay home from school at 20 years old,
Is it fake when my stomach turns at the words
Don’t look at me
But please–look at me
A fine specimen of the genuine wannabe
I want to be so many things
I want to be worhty
of God’s attention
I want to be honest
But until then
I will remain in this perpetual state of
An actor, but never a poet