Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Changing Heart

by Wilfred Bereswill

Everybody that really knows me is aware that I have PDD. No PDD is not some grave disease, PDD is Poetry Deficit Disorder. I don't get it. I've been in open readings where people have read poetry, all those around me are crying or laughing and they're all clapping at the end, and I have this look on my face is hard to disguise, the look of confusion. The St. Louis Writers guild has some fabulous poets in the group, or so I'm told. I listen. I try hard to understand. I really do.

I don't get poetry, never did and probably never will. I actually think that learning how to write poetry would be beneficial to any writer. In essence, the economy of words, the art of expressing more with fewer words, is something that every writer should know.

So, why am I blogging about something I know so little about? Well, because I had the opportunity to have a Father/Daughter Saturday. My wife was occupied and I had the chance to spend time with my daughters. We went to the mall and shopped in stores like Delia and Forever 21. We went to lunch at an organic foods store. and then we spent the late afternoon and evening at the St. Louis Blues Fan Fest and then a pre-season hockey game. It was an awesome day.

It reminded me what is important in my life. My family IS the passion in my life. So I guess it makes sense that my only poetry moment stems from my daughters. Last summer I was on a bicycle ride. The ten-mile trail wound through the woods. The temperature was perfect, the wind brushing my face and my eyes were focused of the asphalt in of me when my mind started wandering. I thought about my girls growing up and I wrote a poem. Well, I thought of the poem. Yes, the whole poem just bubbled up in my mind while I was riding. In that 45 minutes I felt all the emotions, happiness, warmth, sorrow, comfort, loneliness. At one point I eye blurred with tears.

As poems go, I know it's not good. I actually read it aloud in front of a group and they were gracious enough to pat me on the back and encourage me to write more. The mind is an amazing thing and writing can be the mechanism to express it. I encourage everyone to just, DO IT. With that, I give you:

My Changing Heart

She fits in my hand,

Flying through the room, giggling her silly giggle,

This is the best time,

My heart is filling.

She chases a ball,

With twenty others, giggling her determined giggle,

This is the best time,

My heart is content.

She snuggles on my lap,

Watching men skate on ice, giggling her amazed giggle,

This is the best time,

My heart is full.

She arranges her dorm room,

Hanging clothes on a rack, giggling a nervous giggle,

This is the best time -- for her,

My heart is unsure.

She walks in white,

Taking her hand from mine, giggling a silent giggle,

This is the best and worst time,

My heart is empty.

She takes a tiny hand,

And places it in mine, giggling along with a silly giggle,

This is the best time,

My heart is filling -- again.

If you want to try reading a really powerful poem, I would suggest clicking this LINK. Scroll down toward the bottom of the page and look on the left hand side of the page for To a War Protester
for Lynn Cutts, and for Captain James R. DeVore, USMC
by Harvey Stanbrough

Harvey is a friend of mine who lives in Arizona.


PatRemick said...

Well, Wilfred, I'd say ... you're a poet and you didn't know it...
I like to think all writers are poets, too. In any case, your poem made me tear up a bit -- so maybe "you lie!" and don't really suffer from PDD!

Wilfred Bereswill said...

No, Pat, I may have had a moment. I really do have PDD. I've even struggled with some literary short fiction.

Joyce said...

I liked your poem!

My mother used to write poetry all the time. I have a little notebook with some of her handwritten poems in it. It's a nice memento.

I'm not into poetry much, either. I thought the poem whoever-that-person-was read at the inauguration was the dumbest and most pretentious thing I ever heard. Good poems should actually make sense. Like yours.

When my second son was in second grade he wrote one called "No Brownies For Breakfast." Greatest poem ever. And it made sense.

Jennie Bentley said...

I suffer from PDD, too. Hopelessly plebeian. Poetry readings make me squirm uncomfortably. On the other hand, I have all the appreciation and admiration in the world for people who can write song lyrics, which is sort of the same thing, except with music. I can even - usually - tell whether they're good or not. But poetry, not so much. But that's all right, we don't all have to like the same things.

Wilfred Bereswill said...

Joyce. I guess if you ask any poet if, in their minds, their poetry made sense, they would answer yes. I see that is my problem understanding poetry is that I can't make sense ot it. Maybe it's the whole right/left brain thing.

Jennie, I agree. I relate poems to music lyrics as well. Only I seem to have an easier time with song lyrics.

Joyce said...

Will, maybe that's why few people buy poetry--it only makes sense to the poet.

Patg said...

I suffer PDD severely. I just don't get poetry. I feel it is obsure, tricky expressions and wording to achieve a meter.
And so much of it is open to interpretation. It seems to be an insult to ask the poet what the heck they are talking about.