April Poem #30: And I, too

My inspiration for “And I, too” comes from  Verse-Love, Ethical ELA, which was created by Sarah J. Donovan. Today’s prompt is the last prompt in celebration of National Poetry Month. Sarah invited us to think about claiming ourselves as writers and poets. Sarah used René Saldaña, Jr’s poetry anthology, I Sing: The Body  as a springboard for this prompt. The anthology contains poets’ thoughts on self-image, self-doubt, and constructing an identity.

When I read the prompt and some samples of other poets’ work, I immediately thought of Langston Hughes’ poem I, too. I used the form of Hughes’ poem to construct my own poem. I have always loved the way Hughes could lay out a strong message in a few words. I thought I would practice this, using his structure as a scaffold. I don’t normally take on other poet’s styles and forms, but through participating in Verse-Love this month, I came to realize how building on others’ work could help budding poets build a body of work and step out of their comfort zones. And isn’t that what poetry is all about – stepping out of your comfort zone and beginning to dance!