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Poetry and Intelligence

When I was a child, one of my creative outlets was writing. In high school I remember being really interested in poetry because of how abstract you could make it. You could create your own rules and break them. You could reimagine words and language as creatively as you wished. It felt like a writer's playground. Looking back on it now, it's funny to see that even then I was drawn to expressing myself abstractly because of the freedom I felt when creating in that way.

Photo by Ena Marinkovic from Pexels
Photo by Ena Marinkovic from Pexels

After high school, I dropped my interest in poetry in favor of prose and research writing for college. A few years ago, however, I bought a book called "Write the Poem". It's constructed like a journal with prompts. It gives you a topic at the top and the intent is that you are to write a poem around that topic. You could go from cover to cover, or you could be like me and make it fun by just flipping to any old page and seeing what you come up with. Admittedly I only did this once before putting it down and shoving it in the back of my nightstand for a later date.


Recently, I've been really interested in getting back into poetry. More and more I've seen events in Harrisburg that involve poetry readings and I've seen some of the artists I follow incorporate poetry in their work. Because of this exposure, I've been inspired to pick up my book and try my out-of-practice hand at it.


Which brings me to today's poem, which was inspired by the word "intelligence".


Her nose stuck in a book,

she barely had time to look.


The world around her she was seeking.

Explore! Seize the day!

Her heart wanted to play.


"Don't waste your brain!"

Her mind she continued to train.


But oh, the world!

Invigorating and thrilling.

Freedom around every corner.


In her book she remained.

Facts and figures ingrained.


The journey would have to wait.

Until she was smart enough to placate.

And pursue her wildest dreams.


When I wrote this I was taken back to my high school and college days, remembering how much I wanted to travel the world. I remember studying and doing my best to ace my tests all the while dreaming of what life would be like once I got past this stage. The what ifs would circulate. I think this poem reminds me that my time of placating is gone and to continue pursuing the dreams I dreamt behind science books and math tests.


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