I have a love/hate relationship with poetry – certainly with poetry that takes itself far too seriously, extending the notion that poets are a fragile, sensitive, breakable lot, rather than people who paint and puzzle with words, stretch their meaning, invoke in readers mental pictures without benefit of long, descriptive passages in prose – I prefer to think of us as a playful bunch, and cut my teeth on “Shelly Silverstein” and Hillaire Belloc and anonymous writers of nonsense and limericks. Here, for example, is the first poem I ever memorized as a child.
There is a thread called “Write a short poem” on SparkPeople in a Team called Tips for Writing and Weight Loss, One woman wrote about lovers trying to change one another until they basically became each other. I couldn’t help but think of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116, and the line “Love is not love which bends with the remover to remove.” I set out to write a slightly different poem about change, with a nod to the Bard and the romantic tradition of poetry that descended from his work – and a wink to his Sonnet 130 (which is really more my style). I was too lazy to make it rhyme, or to give it a whole 14 lines. Let’s not pretend it’s blank verse; it’s just a half-assed, wannabe sonnet that didn’t quite achieve full glory because its author – who famously refuses to write Romance – got tired of it and moved on:
Change is the Only Constant
Change is the only constant understood
By fickle, jaded hearts that languish, bored –
That discontented by contentment fly
To seek the skyward rush, heart-stopping pause,
That Death-defiant, rollercoaster plunge
A fall from grace, for sure – but what a fall!
O, Love! Destroy, then resurrect us all.
— Holly Jahangiri