Poetry Engraved in My Memory

@arielpoets on Twitter recently asked:

ariel poets asked

I had to think about this one for a bit. Because. There are SO many. Like, so so so so many. My mother always read. As I child I remember seeing books of poetry on her nightstand. I remember the first time I snuck into her room and read her book of Robert Frost poems, I was in awe of the way the words seem to dance and sing themselves off the page. I liked the way he used semicolons and long dashes in his writing. I could FEEL the flow along with the pauses in the verse. That moved me.

But I didn’t pick a Frost line as my answer.

When I was in junior high school, I got sent to the guidance counselor because I had some ‘troubling’ things written on the outside of one of my covered textbooks: Sylvia Plath’s Mad Girl’s Love Song. I had to explain to the counselor it was a poem. She didn’t know it. When she asked me why I had it written on my book, I answered: “it speaks to me.” And it did. Literally. The way Plath used the parentheses in that poem (I think I made you up inside my head) – I could have sworn she was whispering those words to me as she told me a story about a boy she loved who didn’t love her in return.

But I didn’t select that Plath line as my answer either.

What I did pick for my answer was this: somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond any experience, your eyes have their silence

ee cummings

This is probably my favorite poem of all time. Want to know why? I’ll tell you if you promise not to laugh! Well, okay you can laugh but just don’t TELL me that you laughed.

That poem was the first poem someone ever read TO me. His name was Ryan and we were laying in bed. He was playing with my hair and his voice was as soft and as sweet as his touch. And … I melted. That moment and this poem will forever be engraved in my head. And heart.

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain,has such small hands


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