Theme For Poetry

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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 http://topoetornottopoet.blogspot.com/2018/04/theme-for-poetry.html.

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.

#ThrowbackThursday: Habitat for Humanity

Over the winter break of my senior year in college, I had the opportunity to participate in a Habitat for Humanity trip in Darlington, South Carolina. Volunteering for the organization was something that I had been wanting to do since my senior year of high school, and after years of doing other things for winter break, I made it my mission to go on the school-organized trip in my last year of school, since the plans to go on the trip fell through the year before due to internship commitments.

I came into the orientation with one thought in my mind: only talk to the two people that I knew and just stay in my lane. I was not prepared to make new friends (I was leaving school in May – why should I try to make friends with people that I probably wouldn’t speak to the week I came back?) and to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I would fit in, because I tend to march to the beat of my own drum and do my own thing.

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Habitat for Humanity group photo – January 2018

When I first left for the trip, I was terrified. By the end of the week, my life was changed. I tackled my fear of heights by climbing onto a roof in need of repair (let’s just say that everyone made fun of me for it later on). I had to shower at the local YMCA, which wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be! I ended up going against my initial thought of not making any friends and I ended up meeting people that I still keep in touch with six months later. One of those people ended up becoming someone that I consider my best friend (maybe I’ll talk about him later just to make him happy :P).

Note to self: don’t place false expectations on anything. Most of the time, those expectations fly out the window – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

As we left for home, I realized how lucky I was that I went on a trip just like this. If you have the chance to go on a Habitat for Humanity mission, I recommend you do. It will change your life, just as it changed mine. It was one of the highlights of my senior year and it’s a trip I won’t be forgetting for a long time.

— Adrianna ❤