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Poetry that makes my world shift

Some poems seem inaccessible. But when one resonates, it changes our perceptions.

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My copy of Mid-American Review lay on the table for weeks. Literary writing and I don't always mix well. It stands elite and all-knowing, nose in the air, page after page of introspection based upon Greek myths and sophisticated-yet-obscure references that only a few will recognize – or so it seems.

Literary writing ranks right beside country music for me. I know, strange bed-fellows. Yet I tire of the dog getting kicked, the woman getting pregnant, the man leaving, the woman running off with the stranger, the truck breaking down. It is a rare country song that captures my ear.

I would venture to say I feel rather elitist when listening to country music, and I don't like myself when I feel that way. And I feel like an uneducated dunce when reading literary writings, which is another self-perception I can live more happily without.

And don't get me started on poetry. Mostly I ramble through the lines, and the last word is always my own question: "Huh?"

There are a few poets I embrace. Anything Alice Folkart writes, I love. I like Alice, too! And I'm fond of woolly-eyebrowed Robert Frost and his roads less taken. I even like Carl Sandburg and his fog on cats' feet. I enjoy Jane Yolen's poems for children. And I adore Shel Silverstein. But when it comes to real adult poetry – Emily Dickinson is understandable, usually. My sister-in-law writes poetry for family and friends, and her poems always make me smile and nod; I can "see" the people she writes about. So I love her poetry; it connects me to a home I haven't seen in too many years.


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