A friend gave me a writing book called The Elements of Eloquence, by Mark Forsyth. I imagined it’d be about as fun as reading a thesaurus. But it turns out that Forsyth knows how to have a good time, even with what could be a mundane subject. He winsomely teaches the figures of rhetoric, which I didn’t know were a thing. And he gives examples regularly from the Bible and Shakespeare. Thus I’ve found poetry the most natural form for these practicing these ideas.
I hesitate to share these poems here, because they are so different from what I would expect from me. But if we wait till I have another standard blog post to share, we may be waiting for quite a while. Also, I’m terrible with titles, so if anyone wants to give suggestions for numbers 1, 2, or 3, I’m all ears! Here we go:
1. Little girls are beauty of unmade making; Grown-up girls are beauty painted over; And women...women can go either way.
2. This boy is a forest; his brother is a garden. I will not still the forest. I will not toughen the garden. I will not farm over these boys.
3. From back of me, I see you Raiding the bin of towels To make an indoor beach party From downstairs, I see you Deep in concentration Playing at your desk with Legos From the side yard, I see you Slipping through the front gate To scooter down the sidewalk From the garden, I seem to see you Grinning with pride To be out in the glad world Now my ears see you—you've gone too far My eyes find you and listen There's your form on the grass far away Folded over one knee, frowning over broken skin You're wishing for me to come Waiting for me to come see you