When I was a kid I recall this little phrase that we used to say to people when they were trying to be clever with words. It goes like this:
You must be a poet, your feet show it; they’re Longfellows!
Silly little rhymes are a part of all society as a way of expressing things, sometimes seriously, in a disarming way. And rhyming humour has been an excellent way of engaging young children in the love for reading and learning. Consider the many books of Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel), all told in rhyming and silly subjects. They may be on silly subjects, but the impact has been serious: Dr. Seuss wrote over 60 books which sold over 222 million copies in 15 languages. That’s impact!
I guess what I am alluding to is my belief that using poetry to communicate is probably one of the things hardwired into our Homo sapiens DNA.
And love poems are probably even more central to the human experience. The oldest love poem is a clay tablet about the bride of a Sumerian king who ruled from 2037–2029 BC. And I can imagine love poems being recited long before the invention of written language. Love poetry also shows up in many popular songs. How many of you 60’s kids out there remember the song: Poetry in Motion by Bobby Vee? I can hear you singing it right now!
Anyway, my daughter, the 13-year-old poet sent me this little poem the other day that she wrote a couple of years ago.
Let us go to the heavens above,
Where milk is gold for us to see,
With something surrounding us called love
But something that is not the silver sea.
I have seen many great things in my time,
But this is the best, just you and me,
The angels may sing for many great times,
But something remains called my love for thee.
The urge to create is central to who we are, and poetry may just be one of the outputs of our creativity that keep us connected as humans.
Tight Lines . . .
John R Childress