When I was in high school, I was not a fan of poetry. The poems we read in English class were complicated and no matter how hard I tried, I never got them. We spent endless hours analyzing hidden meanings that remained hidden to me even after the teacher explained them to us. To me, poetry was meant only for the intellectual elite who could comprehend it.
After my first son was born, I decided to earn my degree and become a teacher. I majored in English and loved reading the assigned short stories, but once again the poems seemed distant and unappealing.
Then one day while browsing the children's section in a local bookstore, I came across The Dream Keeper and Other Poems by Langston Hughes. Being a lifelong dreamer, the title appealed to me. The introduction written by Lee Bennett Hopkins inspired me to read on. I turned to "Dreams" and like magic, I fell in love with those eight gorgeous lines.
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
(Read the rest of the poem here.)
I read that poem again and again until it became part of me. It was the poem that changed my life and led me to discover a passion for poetry.
Now I start the school year by reading "Dreams" to my students. I even have a poster of it hanging in the front of my classroom where students see it every day. I want them to carry it in their hearts the way I have. So when I decided to join with Teaching Authors and write a thanku, I chose the two poets who led me to believe in the possibilities of poetry.
Thanku Langston and Lee
poetry changed me
with words of friendship, dreams, love—
so simple, so true
Thank you for stopping by! Today's Poetry Friday is hosted by Mary Lee at A Year of Reading.