Friday, June 24, 2011

My Poetry Year: Entry #42

In which Your Humble Blogger tries not to mess this post up:


Out for a walk in October,
I saw leaves parceled into the sky.
Gold as well as brown, every color delivered.
I wished I had sent more letters to friends.

Out for a walk in October,
I thought about old friends.
They had long ago settled their winds on either coast.
And suddenly, I began to miss the leaves.

* * *

My notebook reminds me that I was pondering alternate versions of the last line. The first version I wrote down was, "And I had already begun to miss the leaves."

This was one of the few poems that I didn't type up and save to my flash drive as a backup. Why? Because it was actually written for somebody else. Once I copied it down for the intended recipient (having hemmed and hawed over the last line, heh), it felt like I had done all I needed to do with it. I had made something that I hoped would let a friend know that I missed her, and if something happened to my notebook, that was alright; I would have already sent the poem off to do what it was intended to do.

[Of course, at that time, I had no idea that I would be doing this blogging project! However, the poem's recipient has very graciously given me permission to share it, even though she certainly didn't have to. :)]

I think that art is, to some degree, necessarily self-indulgent; someone sees the world a certain way inside of his or her own head and feels the need to share it. However, just because a piece has its beginning within one person doesn't mean that it's confined to a selfish vein. Art draws on symbols and words and sounds that, for whatever reason, trigger similar emotions across many people. Art can be used to join us socially, to make us laugh or make us have those "A-ha!" moments. And if we're lucky, art can also be used on a smaller scale, to carve out an image from the world and present it as a thank-you to someone who's inspired us that way.

(For Meghann, 2010-2011)

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