“This is not a poem, it is a rock through a window.” -Daphne Gottlieb
After the initial year of higher education at Wagner College and as I rest on the precipice of adulthood, I’ve come to realize how, as of my middle and high school years, I conducted myself with complacency and even docility. Now, that would be acceptable, had I wished to live a quiet and acquiescent life, however, I am now also aware of my late, unaddressed social anxiety which involuntarily fed a stutter.
Until recently, I endured a slight speech impediment called cluttering – a speech and fluency disorder characterized primarily by a rapid rate of diction, which makes speech difficult to understand. While this affliction is minor, bilingualism unfortunately only added multiple languages in which I became flustered.
“Poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence.” -Audre Lorde
Through the confidence gained through spoken word, I’ve created a philosophy is carpe diem for myself, and laissez-faire for others. I will never have the luxury of a dull ache. I must suffer through the intricacy of feeling too much and needing to write all about it until my pen stops working.
I told my theatre teacher, “You saved me.” I was in a bad place when he took me under his wing and let me live through scripts and until I could find myself in my own poetry.
“I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.” -Joshua Graha
Poetry programs, as arts programs, are being cut nationwide to support other academic or athletic areas, so to combat the lack of creative writing, programs like Project V.O.I.C.E and Pacific Tongues bring poetry and inspirations to schools in need.
Project V.O.I.C.E., founded in 2004, is a group dedicated to using spoken word as an educational and inspirational tool to schools across the country. Pacific Tongues, established on Oahu in 2005, is a nonprofit organization that cultivates an active artistic community of writers, spoken word performers, leaders, and educators.
So I implore us, the general public, those who know weakness yet aspire for strength, to give our support to these programs that support the voiceless because we’ve got rocks to throw through windows.