A Stream Down a Mountainside

I remember the first time I read poetry to people outside of my family

It was in junior high when our English teacher asked the class to memorise and recite The Raven

My teacher was one of the most intelligent I had had thus far

I looked up to her and admired her views of language and writing

That year she inspired me to write quite a bit and be soul-searchingly creative

I often spoke aloud to myself as I wrote poetry alone and loved the way I felt when it was articulated

But in front of an audience of my peers was terrifying

I practiced for hours, making sure not to sound too dramatic nor monotone

And when it came time for me to take a stand at the front of the room

Poe’s words flowed from my tongue as a stream down a mountainside

Though I was red in the face and my fingers were trembling

My teacher was moved and applauded

I am not sure how much my classmates cared about poetry

Or how I read this piece

Or me in general

But in that moment I knew I held their attention through silent, wide-eyed stares

And a short pause before they followed in her lead, softly clapping

The nerves did not subside but a seed of confidence was planted that day

SWD 04/2018

7 Comments Add yours

  1. While reading your words I couldn’t help but think of the first poem I had to learn by heart… It was in my third year of school, a poem by German poet Theodor Fontane and, to be honest, it was far too long for a child that had only learned how to read 3 years ago. I was dreading the task but then my Dad read it to me with such a beautiful intonation I was spellbound… But still I cried a lot of angry tears because I it was so difficult and I just couldn’t seem to memorise it. But I didn’t give up, it had just triggered something inside of me. I wanted it to sound just as beautiful as it did when my Dad was reading it. In the end when I was standing in front of the class, my teacher applauded, too, just like yours. I was so happy back then but I realise now that it could have easily gone wrong and spoilt poetry for me forever. Luckily it didn’t!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful. I remember once being asked to read a story I wrote to the class, and the applause afterwards was rewarding. I remember that day when I question if I can write posts that people would actually read or want to read. Regina

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful memory, well written too. Your teacher sounds like a empowering person, so important to have supportive mentors.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. robgradens says:

    I like the way you write posts. Your confessional style is simple and concrete, not so much ornate and flowery. The emotion comes out raw and fresh, sort of like Anne Sexton (I always preferred her to Plath). Keep writing ✍️!


  5. “ORT-ORT-ORT-ORT-!” 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

    Liked by 1 person

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