Words by Abby Perez
Illustration by Katie Herchenroeder
We all, at some point I hope, have read some form of literature. Whether it be for school or if we’re one of the billion people in the world who actually get pleasure from reading on our own. We’re taught since elementary school, read read read! The first thing that comes to mind is the usual: books, comics, Twitter. But what about poems?
They’re considered a “lost art form” if we aren’t reading them to study for a quiz in our English Lit class. Poems come in various styles and they can be very influential (not to mention they’re not as long as the books you read for class). And when I say poems, I mean ACTUAL poems. Not the ones that you used to love on Tumblr in middle school with that one flower that has the petals falling.
Fellow CCNY student Sarah Logan’s favorite poem is Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou. The descriptive language and gorgeous imagery radiate poise and elegance, reminding Sarah of her mother. This poem gives her the confidence to truly be herself in the bland and one-sided world we live in.
Anyhara Garcia’s favorite poem is Fire and Ice by Robert Frost – after hearing it in the movie Twilight back in fourth grade when we would all argue with our friends over Jacob and Edward (we all know Jacob was better anyway). Anyhara loves the simplicity of the poem, evoking such beauty and delicacy in such a few short lines.
Another student, Yanivel Sosa, absolutely loves The Lamb by William Blake. She raves about the purity and sanctity in describing the Lamb of God.
My absolute favorite poem is Dreams by Langston Hughes. We’ve all had dreams from when we were in third grade of becoming an astronaut or a pop star. Then we grow up a little bit, and it turns into wanting to become a writer, or detective. Then we grow some more, and we forget all about those dreams we were ready to conquer as a kid because it “won’t pay the bills.” I believe our dreams are what make life worth living.
Where’s the beauty in working a job we are not jumping out of bed in the morning to do? We need to remember what will make the child in us live on and chase after those dreams. I heard that idea once or twice before, but reading that poem for the first time in college was the bow that wrapped and tied the whole idea for me.
Poems are written in countless styles, and each one is substantially different in their own way. That is why I urge you guys to read a poem.
Whether it be by a famous poet or one completely foreign to you. Read one! You never know the impact it may have on you, and your life.