Theme For Poetry


This poem was written for a class during my last semester of college. It’s one of my favorite pieces to write, and it was based on one of my favorite pieces – “Theme for English B” by Langston Hughes. If you want to read it on my original poetry blog, you can read it at

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Theme For Poetry

After Langston Hughes

My teacher said to me,

“Go to your dorm room and write
a poem tonight.
Let the words flow out of you.
Let them ring true.”

Is that the truth? Is it really that easy?
I’m twenty-two, born and raised in Cedarhurst.
I’m graduating in just a short while, from Yeshiva University
in the middle of Midtown.
(I’m pretty sure I’m the only twin in this poetry class)
I cross Lexington, Park, possibly stop for an iced caramel macchiato
from Starbucks on the corner,
to the middle of 34th and Madison, where I trudge up the stairs
to my messy bed, plop down and start to write.

I’m never sure what is true, if this is between me and you.
I see New York. I feel New York.
But do I see myself in all these blinding lights? Can I find myself
while lying here, wide awake, in the heart of Manhattan?

Who am I?

My love of coffee? My fear of falling in love?
My attempt to find the meaning of life?
(emphasis on attempt)
My love of cooking to relax after a long day’s work?

I would love a car for graduation
to drive and play all the music I love –
Harry Styles, Panic! At the Disco, Aaron Tveit.
Maybe a Beatles song or two.
Just something to jam out to while on the open road.

What else will bring this poem to life?
My anxiety? My complex of letting others scrutinize my soul?
I ponder whether those elements will read between the lines.
What will my poem read like?

Being me, it won’t be perfect.
Nobody is perfect.

I learn from you, you learn from me.

This is my theme for Poetry.

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