April Poem #18: Poetry is a Way

My inspiration for “Poetry is a Way” came from  Verse-Love, Ethical ELA, which was created by Sarah J. Donovan. Today’s prompt was from Maureen Young Ingram, who suggested we use Lucile Clifton as a poet-mentor and write a short poem about a difficult subject from the first person point of view using a lower-case “i.”  Maureen includes a link to a short video of Lucille Clifton talking about what poetry is. I was familiar with Ms. Clifton’s poetry for children but had never read her poetry for adults or heard her speak about poetry making.  I was inspired by her definition of poetry and wrote “Poetry is a Way” to discover my own definition of poetry and how I am evolving as a poet living in this unique time on Earth.

I have been writing poetry since I was a child, and I am a firm believer that poetry is a great catalyst for self-discovery.  It is my go-to emotional support object.  I rely on poetry to gain insight and to solve problems.  Poetry has never failed me.  It is a steadfast friend.  When I state that “poetry is a way,” I mean that it is a way of life to be consistently practiced – always moving and improving oneself and increasing one’s knowledge.

Poetry is a Way
(For Lucille Clifton)

i am a poet
i don’t have all the answers.
Lucille was right:
Poetry is a way
Of living in the world,
Of expressing
Something difficult.
i don’t have all the answers
i am a poet
With so many questions.
It’s not what i know,
It’s what i wonder…
Will there be another pandemic?
Who taught frogs know how to sing?
Will the people of Ukraine remain free?
What is the name of those blue flowers
that wildly bloom along the highway?
Will there ever be a cure for cancer,
A remedy for old age?
i am a poet
i don’t have all the answers
i am full of wonder
i am seeking peace
In this one world.

Children’s Books by Lucille Clifton

All of us Come Across the Water


Dear Creator: A Week of Poems for Young People and Their Teachers

Don’t You Remember?

Everett Anderson’s 1-2-3

Everett Anderson’s Christmas Coming

Everett Anderson’s Friend

Everett Anderson’s Goodbye

My Friend Jacob

One of the Problems of Everett Anderson

Some of the Days of Everett Anderson

The Boy Who Didn’t Believe in Spring

The Lucky Stone

The Palm of my Heart

The Times They Used to Be

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