I hated poetry in college. It conjured images of wrinkly old people in high-collared shirts and dresses, brows furrowed as they sat in dusty libraries clutching quill pens. I blame that English teacher (who shall remain nameless) for drilling phrases like “iambic pentameter” into my brain. He taught us to dissect words and stanzas as if they were formaldehyde-covered frogs in a lab.

As a Creative Writing major, I didn’t want to dissect—I wanted to create! I wanted to splash words onto a page the way Jackson Pollock did with paint. I wanted to twirl them like ringlets, shape them like clay, hold them up like a pinwheel and watch them spin in the breeze.

My words would NOT be constrained by measured syllables and verses! I wanted my writing to be free!

Turns out, what I wanted was POETRY.

A New Dawn

On Inauguration Day, I perched on the arm of my couch as Amanda Gorman recited her poem, The Hill We Climb. Hope surged into my heart. Each word was like lightning!

Is America on the Cusp of a Renaissance?

Listening to Amanda Gorman certainly felt like a rebirth. She injected vibrant color into conversations that were no longer black and white. She shared beauty, truth, promise, and possibility. The world was watching—listening—to this young woman’s powerful message of hope and transformation. And the next day, people were buzzing about POETRY.

Change is not just brewing—it is ready to drink.

I think about all the things I’ve been craving during this pandemic—old things that seem newly important. Walks in nature, experiments on solitude, essays by timeless thinkers, stories of historical lessons and triumphs. People have been through dark ages before. They rebuilt by focusing on humanity. They rediscovered (and INVESTED IN) art, creativity, philosophy, and culture.

Perhaps Gorman’s poetry reading on Inauguration Day was one step toward our new Renaissance. A step toward embracing the spirit that unites us instead of the fear that divides us. A move away from darkness and into the light.

Mindful Entertainment, with a Side of Nachos

This Sunday, Amanda Gorman will recite a poem at Super Bowl to honor three community leaders. Poetry on Super Bowl Sunday? Yes, please! It’s time to put fresh voices and ideas in the spotlight. Let’s reintroduce the masses to a less “popular” art form—one designed to open our minds and hearts, not just our mouths and wallets.

I’m sure some (or many) will protest and complain: “It’s a day for football, not POETRY!” Yet it’s also a day when dazzling lights shine on singers and dancers at halftime, and when companies pour millions into amusing commercials. Why shouldn’t we shake up old routines with new sparks?

We have plenty of mindless entertainment to help us pass the time. Let’s partake in some mindful entertainment to make our time more valuable. I, for one, will be feasting on Amanda Gorman’s words alongside my nachos and buffalo wings.

What Can You Find in Poetry?

Poetry is a ticket to a new promised land. It offers a place for broken hearts to heal, for silenced voices to shout or sing, for lost dreams to be found again. And despite what your English teacher might have claimed, you don’t even need to know iambic pentameter.

What if you wrote a poem today?