Hey lovely Bluestem readers!
Taking a break from reading submissions to share some thoughts.
I’m thinking back at all the times I was assigned to read poetry during my education and only came up with about a handful, if that. I think that people can find poetry downright daunting because of how the meaning can be so drenched in metaphor or symbolism. I know that in high school that is how I felt toward the poetry we were reading. We pretty much only read Shakespeare and Dickinson. Finding the meanings to their poems, while I was in high school, was always so hard because they read as if they were in another language. In retrospect, I think that probably the problem was that their poetry was never about the cute boy (with zits all over his face) that I would stare at for hours in English class.
Still, I read through Bluestem submissions and wish that I was exposed in high school to more modern poetry alongside Shakespeare because I think it would have allowed my appreciation to grow sooner. It would have been amazing to know that not all poetry happened in the past, that there is excellent poetry happening right now.
That wasn’t something I actually understood until college.
I choose to blame my Midwest upbringing.