Because I read more poetry I learned how to consider the words which has transformed my perspectives and granted me insight into the world I live in. I’m a poet and I Can Write A Poem Like This:
A black woman slaughtered
In the street– does she make a sound Black men
Aren’t outraged, Black women
Understand your silence-
A storm on deserted land, no body
bears witness to your “I”
#ConsiderTheWords Notice the punctuation, or the lack thereof. Notice where the lines end–the lines are composed of words. Focus on the words and how they are used to summon multiple specific thoughts, attitudes, ideals, concepts, experiences, facts, feelings, etc. Notice how the words LOOK in tandem to how the SOUND. Consider the incongruency. All day, we write and see things that are incongruent, yet all day we somehow smooth out the anamolies…and we make a joke. We make a meme. We compose a clever tweet or facebook status. We pray. We laugh. We show our hearts in word in a status when we endure life. They prepared us for more math in the future…but they did not prepare us for more reading. More critical thinking based on what we can see EVERYDAY and understand. It’s how we survive.
Look at #BlackLivesMatter….that movement grows because we read it. We are so intelligent we understand things as concise and precise as “Black Lives Matter”. The words were chosen with intent. It was NAMING and calling attention to a SPECIFIC issue for a specific group of people in America. The Civil Rights Movement, in hindsight, was a little too broad. But it addressed a SPECIFIC issue at that SPECIFIC time. For some reason, in and before the 1960s, it was easier to understand that Black people were having different experiences than other Americans at a disproportionate rate. The same thing is going on now. And it is still CIVIL RIGHTS. Yet, simultaneously it is HUMAN rights and that is to say AMERICAN rigbts. Clearly, and most obviously, all lives are important. All lives should be treated equally. Not based on skin color, religion, sexuality, sex, gender, fame, wealth, weight, age, physical appearance, level of education, criminal history, previous behaviors, city, state, county, million dollar home or project or trailer park or homeless shelter. All lives should be treated as valuable and worthy of reverence. No matter who they are or what they have done, but specifically when they are LAW abiding citizens. And “LAW abiding citizens” are determined by the law which functions on the premise that there is innocence until guilt is proven for all. That justice exists for all. But it does not. All lives matter! Duh. Black people are human enough and intelligent enough to understand that. We understand it so well that it goes unsaid. What Black people did decide to communicate, specifically, is that BLACK LIVES MATTER, too. Because the law does not seem to extend to us in the same way. Black Americans decided to speak out about what is affecting our community specifically at this point and time. The fact that, According to the law: every American citizen should be considered innocent until proven guilty, under the presumption that a FAIR trial will occur consisting of a judge, a jury, and two opposing attorneys representing the accused as well as the accuser. The thing the law does not consider, is the disproportionate distribution of power in a country composed of different cultures and backgrounds based on color, region, sex, gender, age, religious affiliation, level of education which often time depends upon where you live and your socioeconomic class, which is also based on prejudices, biases, judgments, behaviors, etc. that depend upon what we sense in relation to what we can and ARE willing to understand.
We must read more. We, as a nation, must read more. #ReadMorePoetry focuses on poetry because poetry is an artform that manipulates language in a manner that reflects the state of being of the person, which reflects that person’s state of mind, which is influenced by that person’s genetics, experiences, observations and insights, which correlates (in some way) to the state of the union, that is to say the United States of America, which is our country. And our country is composed of many, many differing perspectives, cultures, and backgrounds. All of which can be broadened, hardened, or evolved, by education…which is also disproportionately distributed. Repeating history.
#ConsiderTheWords and you may be simultaneously considering the future you envisioned for yourself and your children. Study words like they try to get us to study math, history, literature, etc. Study the words that compose each subject. The words matter. The specific language used matters. Figure out the language then you figure out an equation that math may not have discovered yet. Don’t wait for someone to do the work for you. Do it yourself. You then graduate to “master” even if, to live, you have to do the work of a slave. You master your purpose in a manner that reflects your state of being, which reflects your state of mind, which is influenced by your experiences, observations and insights, which correlates to the state of the union, that is to say the United States of America, which is our country. And our country is composed of many, many differing perspectives, cultures, and backgrounds. All of which can be broadened, hardened, or evolved, by education…which is also disproportionately distributed. Repeating history.
#ReadMorePoetry. Read more journals, essays, articles, novels, plays, artist reviews, educational reviews, statistics, etc. Don’t wait to enroll in school. Don’t wait for someone to give you a syllabus. Start with what interests you and break away from your interests and challenege your thoughts with a concept or idea that calls a perception or behavior to question that you possess yourself.
Master your understanding of the various sub- languages existing in the English language then you become a force to be reckoned with in whatever career, extracurricular activity, hobby, craft, vocation, you choose.