Climbing Trees on Hamlin Street

bobby posting:

I just finished up watching a movie about the life and love of John Keats, one of the great Romantic poets.  Perhaps the greatest.  The movie, Bright Star, was a period piece filled with sappy dialogue, frilly clothes, and looks of longing.  Nonetheless, I found myself really enjoying the slow pace.  The beautiful cinematography.  And the poetry.  Spoken, off an on, all throughout the film.  You see, I used to greatly define myself as a poet.  Poet first.  Writer second.  The tide has turned greatly over the past several years.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I even wrote a poem.  But I can remember the last poem I wrote that I really enjoyed.

Adam had written several poems.  He got the itch and was beginning to finally, deeply scratch.  In fact, he was in the process of fully investing and dedicating himself to the craft.  Creative Writing classes and graduate classes were in the discussion, potentially in the works.  He knew I’d written poetry all thru high school and that it was something I greatly valued.  Adam asked me to read his poetry and get back to him.

While sitting in class one day, I wrote this response.  Of course, it was a poem.  Enjoy.

Climbing Trees on Hamlin Street

Your poems are tight.
Carefully constructed creations,
Cannons fired with the supreme knowledge
Of definitions and commas.

While your rhyme pattern
Has the jingle-jangle-jitter
Of a three-piece garage band,
Or a man walking with a top hat, a limp and a cane,
Your victories lie in your words.

Bit pieces that bite.
Marks on readers hearts that they happily share
With the reckless joy of a boy and his battle scars
[Left arm, 2 inches, in the shape of a J (upper case, of course)
from a stick fight with Timothy ;
Right ankle, a semi-circle, circumference: 1.7 inches,
pet dog incorrectly named Precious; we had to get rid of her]

Let me take that rhyme, or lack thereof,
And show me a painting
(but let it be all circles, perpendicular lines, and symbolism)
Hear me a song
(but let it skip on the record player like a girl learning to dance,
standing on her father’s feet but slipping every off beat)

Yes. Let me take those words
Those architectural masterpieces:
Hamlin’s Trees,
Jack’s Beanstalk,
Heaven’s Ladder.

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One response to “Climbing Trees on Hamlin Street

  • zdillon

    And all this time I thought that I was responsible for uncovering Adam’s innate skill as a poet because I told him what iambic pentameter means and let him look over my college poetry books. The truth finally comes out. It stems from being with a heart and mind that sees in colors rather than reason and two years living with singer/song writer/poet/writer/theologian/etc Bobby Harrison.

    PS I LOVE your poem.

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