I’m not a Poet, and You Probably Know It.

My writing career began later than it should have.  In elementary school, I struggled big time.  As I tried to juggle learning both Spanish and English at the same time, some things were not prioritized, one of which was writing.  I the dual-language program putting little emphasis on it early on, but my 8 year old self paid little attention.  That was until 4th grade.  I remember struggling to formulate my thoughts as I was tasked with writing one of my first real essays.  I wasn’t triumphant.  My thoughts were jumbled, incoherent, and difficult to understand.

Then 6th grade happened.  It wasn’t a sudden change-my essays didn’t get much better. However, I did discover a medium in which I could actually express my thoughts:poetry.  My 6th grade teacher made us write anthologies of our collected poetry.  Of course we had to follow some formatting rules, but overall, we could do whatever we wanted.  I remember feeling absolutely liberated when I discovered that I could actually express my thoughts with the written word.  I wrote story poems, rhyming poems, short poems, long poems. The requirement for the number of poems was around seven; I wrote seventeen.  My teacher liked some of my stuff, so she encouraged me to share it with others.  We then held a poetry reading get-together in a cafeteria for our parents.  Not only did I like writing poetry, but I also liked performing it.

Flash forward a few years.  Poetry doesn’t play a huge role in my life; I’ll be honest.  I wish I wrote more poems and had the time to go to open mic, but alas, I don’t.  However, whenever I’m sad, distressed, or having an existential crises, or just have something to say, poetry is there.  Nowadays, I usually throw away or lose what I write down on paper mostly because it doesn’t matter if someone, or even I see my poetry again.  For me, the liberation and joy of writing usually comes in the moment.  It comes in those revelatory phrases that surprise even me when I write them.  For me, writing down staccato, rhyming phrases helps me to collect my thoughts and establish what I actually think about something.  By no means am I poet; most of the time, it hardly comes naturally at all.  But in those few moments where I get excited about a phrase or some cool wordplay that shows what I think about something, I know it’s worth it.  I wish I could do it more often.  Maybe I’ll start today.

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