April is National Poetry Month, and though I didn’t post about it on here, I observed it as I always do. I love poetry. I truly think poetry is the only voice that many people have in this world. I know my students connect to poetry, and I know when I was their age, I connected to it as well. And as I’ve grown, I still connect to it, but in a very different way. Instead of writing poetry about my complex feelings, I’ve read the poetry of others. I’ve enveloped myself in the musings of others as they deal with their own complex emotions.
If I had to name my favorite poet of all time, I think it’d be Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto, better known by his pen name (and later his legal name) Pablo Neruda. Neruda’s poetry has always touched me. Last year I wrote about my favorite love poem of his, “Tu Risa.” This year, however, I’m sharing a different poem.
This poem, “Keeping Quiet” is one that resonates with me in today’s atmosphere. I don’t just mean the political atmosphere, though to talk about Neruda’s poetry is to talk about the political atmosphere. I mean in this world that is full of hate and greed and envy. This atmosphere in which we spend more time tearing each other down than building each other up. Sometimes I am truly overcome with grief at the way people behave toward one another. I’ve caught myself crying at interactions on Facebook and at the grocery store. I just want to shout a refrain of, “why can’t we all get along?”Read more