Tuesday, March 08, 2005
I want to be read. When I was in high school, I read poetry voraciously, especially Keats, Byron, and Shelley. I have a collection of selected works from all three entitled "The Great Romantics." I read and reread Byron and Keats until the book's spine broke. Keats' poetry to Fanny Brawne was my yardstick for my love poems since the beginning. I imagined students reading my poetry to dim lamps past their bedtime, or at least too late an hour prudent before an exam on the morrow as I did. Every little phrase was important, every word worth reading, and well worth the lost sleep. Poetry should enlighten, not beguile; I wrote with abandon to a greater understanding of my struggle, once private, now public in verses. With Keats as my guide, Byron and Shelley baiting me onward, I wrote. I wrote not just to be read; I wrote to be recited. I wrote to be shouted at the top of each lover's lungs, to be pealed from the top of every chimmeny, screamed in the streets, and passed through the lips of every wedding toast for strength, for beauty, and for love! Let me into the rhythmn of your breath, or the harmonies of empathy. Wish for words stark enough to describe me in any other way than mine. Take my verses to heart and whisper a line into your lover's ear to find the next repeated into yours. I didn't write any of it to be a secret, as the vainest poets often contend about even their most minor works; I wrote it all for you. I want eyes unlike my own to scan my pages, and find enough to remember as mine. I want to be read.