So give it a try. Jazz prodigy, Eric Dolphy, once said there is no such thing as a bad note. I think it’s pretty much the same with poetry. Who knows, it might get printed in this newspaper, or maybe not. But who cares? Who cares if your poem doesn’t always rhyme? They have a name for that among the great variety of poetic styles — free verse.
Who dares demean how you feel about this or that? They are your feelings. Write them down. Let “you” speak through poetry. I promise. You’ll be amazed. And you don’t have to be William Shakespeare, Pablo Neruda, Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman, Robert Browning, or the scores of other poets looked upon as great. Just be yourself. Just be honest.
Of course, that doesn’t mean we should not appreciate those who are acknowledged as great poets. Many of these men and women give their lives to this art form. Those I mentioned are some of my favorites.
But I recently came across a little book of poetry and, in honor of this past Easter Sunday, here’s a bit of what a little known minister and teacher wrote in a poem called “The Feet of Judas”:
Christ washed the feet of Judas!
The dark and evil passions of his soul
His secret plot, and sordidness complete
His hate, his purposing, Christ knew the whole
And still, in love, he stooped and washed his feet
There are five more verses to the minister’s poem. Yet, he manages to paint a picture any Christian can stand back and admire: an all knowing, humble, forgiving Christ, the Son of God! It is amazing how, in so few words, this minister was able to capture what is, in the Bible, more than a few books.