Books
Andrea Gibson,Megan Falley

How Poetry Can Change Your Heart

    Maria Skogstad Teglkamphas quotedlast year
    Shake the Dust (Excerpt)
    BY ANIS MOJGANI
    This is for the fat girls
    This is for the little brothers
    This is for the schoolyard wimps and the childhood bullies that tormented them
    For the former prom queen and for the milk crate ball players
    For the nighttime cereal eaters
    And for the retired elderly Walmart store front door greeters
    Shake the dust
    This is for the benches and the people sitting upon them
    For the bus drivers who drive a million broken hymns
    For the men who have to hold down three jobs simply to hold up their children
    For the nighttime schoolers
    And for the midnight bikers who are trying to fly
    Shake the dust
    This is for the two year olds
    Who cannot be understood because they speak half English and half God
    Shake the dust
    For the boys with the beautiful sisters
    Shake the dust
    For the girls with the brothers who are going crazy
    For those gym class wallflowers and the twelve year olds
    afraid of taking public showers
    For the kid who is always late to class because he forgets
    the combination to his locker
    For the girl who loves somebody else
    Shake the dust
    This is for the hard men who want love but know that it won’t come
    For the ones who are forgotten
    The ones the amendments do not stand up for
    For the ones who are told speak only when you are spoken to
    And then are never spoken to
    Speak every time you stand so you do not forget yourself
    Do not let one moment go by that doesn’t remind you
    That your heart, it beats 900 times every single day
    And that there are enough gallons of blood to make everyone of you oceans
    Do not settle for letting these waves that settle
    And for the dust to collect in your veins . . .
    Maria Skogstad Teglkamphas quotedlast year
    My phone died, and now I don’t know how to FaceTime.
    Maria Skogstad Teglkamphas quotedlast year
    Science suggests that loneliness resonates in the same part of the brain as physical pain. Feeling lonely (more so than being alone) has been medically linked to poor health and heart disease.
    Maria Skogstad Teglkamphas quotedlast year
    What were you raised to appreciate?
    In what ways, if any, was poetry valued in the house where you grew up?
    In what unique, amusing, or special ways did your family interact with language?
    What is your favorite song lyric of all time?
    If you were to explain poetry to a toddler, how would you describe it?
    Look around. What are the five most beautiful things you see?
    The five most heartbreaking?
    What is a topic you could spend an easy hour talking about?
    What in the universe are you most curious about?
    What is the one-sentence version of your life story?
    What is the tiniest, yet most important, detail of your life?
    Where is the beauty in the last thing that made you cry?
    Where was the grief hiding in your last moment of bliss?
    Why is your favorite season your favorite season?
    What is your favorite word and why?
    What was the most riveting conversation you have ever had?
    Do you remember the last time someone put words to something you couldn’t easily express?
    What is your earliest fear, and what is your most recent?
    Describe the last time you were awestruck.
    If a poet were to write about one story from your life, what story would you have them tell?
    Why don’t you tell it?
    Maria Skogstad Teglkamphas quotedlast year
    “To understand the universe, I turn to science, but to understand my place in it, I turn to poetry.”
    Maria Skogstad Teglkamphas quotedlast year
    Welcome to a world where there are as many languages as there are people and it turns out there is a poet out there who is fluent in you.
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