The poetry class I belong to at the Academy for Lifelong Learning at our community college has been running for at last five years -- certainly before I came to the Cape. I had not joined it because, first of all, I do not believe I know enough about poetic form to write poetry seriously and secondly, I thought they were a clique who mostly patted one another on the back and wrote the expected. Actually both perceptions were correct but I've come to understand they are not nearly as important as I had thought. I am free to teach myself as much as I want to learn about writing poetry -- no one, of course, would try to discourage me.
Secondly, many in the group have been coming for several years, they feel free to show up when they can whether or not they have officially enrolled. Much of what is written is the expected, but much is thoughtful writing that they would not do otherwise, an opportunity to express themselves as best they can in a warm and supportive atmosphere. The "clique-ishness" may be a little true, but I feel a real warmth among these people. Several are over 80, or nearing that mark, but they have valuable insights, reminiscences, philosophical ponderings. I've found it a pleasure to be among people attempting to put their feelings and ideas into a poetic form. My inner snob has been squashed and I may have written one or two poems in the semester that I am proud of.
But today I want to quote a poem by Wendy Cope which I find a good one for a day when it has been cold and rainy without a glimpse of the sun.
At lunchtime I bought a huge orange --
The size of it made us all laugh.
I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave--
They got quarters an I had a half.
And that orange, it made me so happy
As ordinary things often do
just lately. The shopping, a walk in the park.
This is peace and contentment It's new.
The rest of the day was quite easy.
I did all the jobs on my list
And enjoyed them and had some time over.
I love you. I 'm glad I exist.
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