we were made to be poets
By Claire Yu
‘we were made to be poets’ is about poets, and the reasons why we write and connect with this form of art.
we were made to be poets to sanctify our tongues as a church of words to reach into our throats and let the sounds pour out to glorify everything we see in a flurry of description sprinkle our fairy dust so the world doesn’t forget the magic everything holds inside we feel the urge to name our surroundings the thrill Adam and Eve felt as the syllables flew out of their mouths at each stroke of inspiration dewdrop. peacock. pebble. tongue the only muscle not connected to bone at both ends always reaching out for something to wrap around something to swallow something to call our own how can we not try, at least, to make sense of the world? try, at least, to match this feeling with a word. love? loneliness. try to seem like we’re in control make sure no one knows the desperation with which we hold on—find a metaphor, find a sound something to remember this moment by when it’s gone write it down on paper and protect it the more you write the longer it will take to slip away we find solace in the promise of poetry. music is a poem, and so is this sky. a story mostly blacked out is a poem a paragraph missing vowels is a poem a memory mostly blacked out is a poem a person missing love is a poem we were made to be poems we were not meant to last forever, only long enough for the people who watched us break, line break, time and time again to write us down on a piece of paper and protect us, folded in between dog-eared pages and wallets repeating our verses under their breath until we slip away, gone except for a phrase, a word, hovering off the tips of their tongues, added as an afterthought to the ends of their own poems.
I wrote this poem reflecting on what it means to be a poet, and what defines a poem. I thought that in the eyes of poets, everything around us is a poem in some form, including ourselves. This poem reflects on the importance of writing and language to poets, and how that is passed on to others.
Claire Yu is a junior from Queens who attends high school in Manhattan, NY. She enjoys writing poetry and memoirs, dancing and playing the flute. She has won regional and national awards at the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.