Poetry: Introduction

As some of you may already know, when I was in college I majored in English with a concentration in writing. To pick apart my BA even further, what I was really interested in was poetry. I am pretty sure I took every class in poetry that Muhlenberg offered.  Unfortunately, in the five plus years since I graduated, I have not written nearly enough. Poetry used to be daily for me. My tin-covered notebook was filled with blank verse scribbles, failed sestinas,  angsty free verse, and humorous pastiches.  I had Silverstein, Milton, Nash, cummings, and Ginsberg pouring out of my hand made duct tape messenger bag. Poetry became one of the biggest parts of my life. Every day I strove to write something of which I could be proud. Something that could possibly be considered for publication.

When I graduated and entered the world of publishing, poetry took a back seat. When I returned to school to get my Master's in Information Science, poetry was not on my mind at all. Every so often, I would come across my tin-covered notebook  and fill some remaining blank pages with half-baked ideas. With work, school and my growing activity in the Harry Potter fandom, I had no time for meter and rhyme.

When I started Madam Pince and the Librarians in 2008, I once again felt the joy of word play. Writing lyrics served as a nice reminder of how written creativity used to make me feel. With my talented band-mate, Erich Brandkamp, we spent hours discussing Anthony Goldstein's Torah-reading habits and yarmulke-wearing decorum in rhyme. The closest I came to reuniting with my inner poet was when Erich and I set one of my works to music. The result was Friends and Ends. I will include both versions below.

It's now been more than two years since Friends and Ends was written and again my poetry has taken a back seat to the rest of my life. However, two nights ago at The Group That Shall Not Be Named's monthly meetup, organizers Jon Rosenthal and Deanna Georges hosted a poetry reading. Dutifully I broke out the black eyeliner, black clothing, and fedora, and channeled an angsty college version of myself, intertwined with Harry's ALL CAPS attitude from book five.

Despite the fact that I was dressed ironically, and making fun of emo, hipster poets, the truth was that I was having fun. I missed written expression and poetry readings. So, I decided to buy myself a Moleskine. Yep. This may in fact make me a hipster, but I feel it's worth it. The feeling of power I get when I know that in my bag, I have a notebook and pen, at the ready, is unmatchable. Even if I never write anything worthy of print, poetry is an important part of my life, and I need to make time for it.

Friends and Ends

I feel tonight I lost a friend,
The pages fluttered to their end.
Felt my tears begin to well
As they fell upon the cover
I turned toward my lover
and told him of the saddness I felt.

I know naught of this he said,
for I have lost real friends
And I know what it is to mourn.
I said I've also had to grieve,
And alas I do believe
that tonight you've lost one more.

Original Poem:
Tonight I lost a friend.
As its pages fluttered shut,
My tears spilled upon its worn cover.

I turned to my love to tell him of my sadness
"Of this," he said, "I know naught.
"For I have lost real friends,
And I know what it is to mourn."

"Alas," I say. "So have I."
"And I believe I have lost one more."

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