It may come as a surprise to some people, but I enjoyed studying poetry when I was in school. I discovered poetry during my junior year of high school when an enlightened English teacher exposed me to the works of E.E. Cummings, Pablo Neruda, Langston Hughes, and Oscar Wilde. However, it was Shakespeare’s Sonnets that I found the most interesting. I was fascinated by “Shall I Compare thee to a Summer’s day?” and “Love is not Love which alters when it alteration finds…“ My favorite was Sonnet 130 – one of the most un-romantic, love sonnets ever written, which began “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun.”
When Justin announced that he was having a poetry reading at his school, GWE and I made plans to attend. He told us that he had written his own poem, but would not share it with us until the evening of the performance. I begged to hear his poem. He said “no.” I pleaded with him to hear his poem. He still said “no.” Finally, I looked at him and told him that I had a poem for him to use. GWE looked at me with a skeptical look on her face.
I stood tall and with proper diction I began to present my poetry to my seven year old son:
“I like big butts and I can not lie
You other brothers cannot deny
That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist
And a round thing in your face
You get …..”
“STOP!!!!!” yelled GWE. Justin was on the floor laughing hysterically. GWE was giving me the “I-DON’T-APPROVE-OF-YOUR-PARENTING-CHOICES” stare.
“MORE!! MORE!!” said Justin. I continued to recite my poem:
“My homeboys tried to warn me
But that butt you got makes me so hor…”
“STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!” yelled GWE again. Justin was laughing so hard he could not catch his breath. GWE rolled her eyes at me, muttered something about “he’s only seven,” and then she simply walked away. That was the end of our home poetry reading.
The night of the performance, I once again asked Justin what his poem was about. Again, he would not tell me. However, he did crack a smile and asked, “What was that poem you told me before?” I (wisely) decided not to share it with him again for fear of him standing in front the entire school just a few minutes later and repeating the wise words of Sir Mix-A-Lot. (I’m assuming Mr. Mix-A-Lot was knighted for his poetic works. Why else would he be a “Sir”?!?!!)
As we listened to the other children’s poems, two thoughts crossed my mind: 1) If he started with “There Once Was A Man from Nantucket…” – I would have to find him a new school because he would have been thrown out of this one, and 2) Knowing Justin, there was a good possibility that the word “Lego” would be used.
With poise and confidence, Justin stood in front of his classmates and recited his poem. He was great! I’ve attached his poem below:
I think he’s got a great literary future. I can see the headlines now: “Priluck Wins Pulitzer.” I just hope he doesn’t tell the Pulitzer committee that he was inspired by the one night I waxed poetically about women’s posteriors and how they could not lie.