I’m not a poet. I want to like poetry but all too often it confuses me. There have been a few times I have attempted to write a poem, but after writing a few lines I quickly realize I am no Shakespear, Robert Frost, or Emily Dickson. I want to like poetry because I realize the power words have. The author carefully chooses and crafts and weaves an idea, using the written word to move us, challenge us, and enlighten us. Paul Engle, a contributor in The New York Times said this about poetry, “Poetry is ordinary language raised to the Nth power. Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words.”
I was hoping we could write a poem together today. Do you remember the poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning that starts off by saying, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” I wonder what she would have written if she were thinking of a family who had a child with special needs? How would she have described what love looks like when you are exhausted, and struggling to keep your cool as your child melts down in the middle of the grocery aisle? Would she use the words found on the little heart candies like, “Be Mine,” “Hug Me,” or “Kiss Me?” Let’s see if we could write our own version of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem. Nothing has to rhyme. It doesn’t matter if it is a haiku, sonnet, acrostic, or sonnet.
So let’s begin!
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways?
I love thee and will show thee, my love, by taking the responsibility to call the school and express our concern about the new IEP.
My love for thee will be known as I hold our child in the middle of the night, as she cries, feeling no one loves her or accepts her.
I love thee and will do better telling you I love thee, for there is no other I would want to walk this journey with but you!
I’m anxious, I am afraid, but I love thee enough to overcome my fear and will schedule a weekend away with David’s Refuge.
I love thee enough to acknowledge I can be a real bonehead, will you forgive me and be mine once again?
Help me finish this poem. What would you add? What would communicate love to you? What would bring passion back into your relationship with your spouse, your partner, or with your family and friends? Let’s write something together that we can share with others that will enable them to know practically how to love more deeply. Would you share just one line we could add to the words above? I can’t wait to share the poem when it is finished.