Friday, May 4, 2012

The Unlikely Poet

The Unlikely Poet -- Every One of Us

Who is the unlikely poet?

The one least likely to write a poem.

In this case a fifth grade girl who, according to her reading teacher

doesn't like reading or writing.

It happens. The poem just bursts forth, and when you see it, it's joyous.

"Poets like to tell you how they write because they themselves do not know how it is done." That's from poet David Kherdian.

I don't know what DD, the unlikely fifth grade poet, would say about this. But here's her lovely poem --

Blue, blue like the

sky sweet like

the ocean blues

just like crying

eyes of tears

sweet just like

the blue night skies

so just sweet of


Another fifth grader, as unlikely as can be, because she said this poem while doing hop scotch on a sidewalk. I wrote it down while she hopped and scotched, and then I asked her: "Did you write that?"  

Her answer: "Did I write what?" 

"That poem." 

"What poem?" 

Anyway, it came in three and four-line jumps, as her feet tapped the beat on the cement street--

be cool

be rule

be bright

be light

be calm

be cool

be fool

be bop

be hip

be scat

be cat


I once had a conversation with Mr. Rogers about how "Anyone is a poet." 

He preferred: "Everyone is a poet!" 

Sometime after this, I was walking with my wife in the sunny streets of Manhattan when I heard a very small man say loudly into his tiny cell phone --

Sure I saw it

but what

do you want

me to do

about it?

I laughed and he looked at me, and walked by. I said to Lorry, "That guy looked like Danny DeVito, and she said, "That was Danny DeVito." 

So -- for Fred Rogers and DD and Danny -- and for the nameless hop-scotcher of New Port Richie, this is for you -- "Everyone IS a poet!"

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