Poetry 180

Say it Rah-shay By Apr 16, 2009 No Comments

I am a bit stuck. I have been searching through the poems that I like and have noticed a strikingly similar trend: they are mostly poems directed at children. Not necessarily a bad thing but not really what I aiming for in my search for poetry enlightenment but, meh.
So I hit Google and found Poetry 180. It’s poetry for high schoolers ( a place in life that I am almost TWO FREAKIN’ DECADES AWAY!?!?) but I am digging this piece as I make some transitions in my life.

“Do You Have Any Advice For Those of Us Just Starting Out?”
Ron Koertge

Give up sitting dutifully at your desk. Leave your house or apartment. Go out into the world.

It’s all right to carry a notebook but a cheap one is best, with pages the color of weak tea and on the front a kitten or a space ship.

Avoid any enclosed space where more than three people are wearing turtlenecks. Beware any snow-covered chalet with deer tracks across the muffled tennis courts.

Not surprisingly, libraries are a good place to write. And the perfect place in a library is near an aisle where a child a year or two old is playing as his mother browses the ranks of the dead.

Often he will pull books from the bottom shelf. The title, the author’s name, the brooding photo on the flap mean nothing. Red book on black, gray book on brown, he builds a tower. And the higher it gets, the wider he grins.

You who asked for advice, listen: When the tower falls, be like that child. Laugh so loud everybody in the world frowns and says, “Shhhh.”

Then start again.

from Fever, 2006
Red Hen Press

Starting again,


I am mom, daughter, sister, yarn lover, word lover, crazy cat lady and library chick. Find me with book or with hook and a hot cuppa.

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