Monday, April 19, 2010

Being April

Since it is April and National Poetry Month, I thought I would share for you my favorite poem.  I am not a poet and not one of those people that can sit and read poetry.  I don't mind stories being in verse (once you are in the rhythm, The Iliad in verse form is simply amazing), but poems always left me unfullfilled.

This is an untitled poem by Stephen Crane, whom you may know from The Red Badge of Courage.  This poem predates that slightly in his book The Black Riders and Other Lines.  Of all the books that I own, I own very few poetry volumes.  I tend to prefer my poetry in song form.  Black Riders is one volume that I would like to own a nice edition for my bookshelf.  This poem doesn't rhyme, it doesn't have much mechanics or traditional poetic forms...but it is incredible.

I was first exposed to this poem in Ms Andrews' ninth grade English class.  I was instantly drawn to it because it was darker than anything else we had studied and I was in that  anger and angst-filled era of being a teenager (I'm still so filled but now it is adult anger and angst).  This poem is very bittersweet to me.  It is sweet because I do like it so much...although I do fear a little what that says about me and my heart.  It is bitter because this was one of the days that our class made Ms Andrews cry.  We did that a lot.  Maybe not me personally, but I was there and sat quietly while it happened.  I always hated it, but wasn't a strong enough individual to stand up against it.  So this poem serves me as a reminder of my weakness and my willingness to not stop something that was wrong because others would think that I wasn't cool.  Sorry Ms Andrews, you did not deserve what we did to you.  I enjoyed your class, thank you for introducing me to this poem.

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter--bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter, 
And because it is my heart."

-Stephen Crane


Cameron Ted said...

to be fair she may have gone to like a loony bin for a while (I may be just making that up not sure) But I do know on more than 1 occasion when I was going in to lift before school and it was like 10 below zero, I picked her and her small children up walking to school because cars were bad or some BS, those kids were always so cold.... plus no TV in their house!!! the craziness!!! There are plenty of things I feel bad about from school, I don't think Tammy Andrews is one for me. But then I am a dick, so.....

Cameron Ted said...

Oh, and one time she gave a test that said
"In your opinion...." and I got 0 out of 10, she said it was wrong, IO argued that an opinion can't be wrong, as it is yours. It may not be popular, or it may be misguided, but it isn't wrong if it is yours. She disagreed. Prolly because you made her cry

Michael said...

I'm not arguing that with you. She was definitely a little off...but I also don't think she deserved to be treated horribly by asshole kids. Well maybe in the case of getting a 0 on an opinion questions.