Friday, April 1, 2011

Poetry: The Human Thing to Do

Humans are naturally rhythmic beings.
Our heart beats.
Our arms and legs swing.
We breathe and blink and our cells divide to the music in our protoplasm.
So it is only natural that we should be rhyming babies.
Long after we have forgotten best friends from 8th grade, the way to weave a mat in Girl Scouts, our first phone number or the trick for remembering the five Great Lakes (HOMES, for those of you who don't live here),
we remember that we will not eat them in a train, we will not eat them in the rain,
we recall that an old house in Paris that was covered in vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines,
where under a spreading chestnut tree, the village smithy stands,
and celery stewed is more quietly chewed,
while in a beautiful pea green boat,
quoth the raven, nevermore.

Shout it out loud.
Make it up as you make breakfast,
reel it off as you peel potatoes,
jive while you drive the kids to school,
sing while you bring in the groceries,
dance like Gene Kelly eating peanut butter and jelly,
(You don't just make rhymes with your mouth, you know).

It is what we are meant to be.
Joyful, playful, sorrowful, full of ful.

Poetry! It's the human thing to do.

Posted by C.M. Millen, author of the 2011 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award winner, The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane.