I’ve loved poetry ever since my 3rd Grade teacher had my class do a project on “Poems That Touch My Heart.” We had to rewrite our favorite poems into a kind of scrapbook, with corresponding artwork. Later that year, we created many of our own poems which were compiled into a big commemorative book of our school year. SO much fun (8-year-old me is still jumping up and down)!!!!!
Ever since then, I’ve dabbled in my own poetry from time to time. I find it both relaxing and frustrating in the best kind of way. Once I’ve wrestled with some rhymes and teased out exactly what I want to convey, I feel pleasantly exhausted. After all, my brain just went through a gymnastics routine!!!
I recently re-read Little Women, and this poem poured out of me in response to my mom and aunt’s observation that out of the four sisters, I would be Jo. So while I sat in a favorite coffee shop this week, I channeled my inner March and surprised myself with my own creative expression. Please enjoy reading it, as I immensely enjoyed writing it!
The Sisters March were my companions
In girlhood days gone by,
Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy
Spun tales of womanhood before my childish eyes.
Now I am a woman grown
And still feel lost somehow,
I find my pilgrim's burden heavy,
And must consult them now.
As little girls, my sisters and I
Would ask of each other,
"Which March sister is my muse?"
For we knew Laurie to be our brother.
Bree was always quiet Beth,
Lover of hearth and home,
Made for nurturing and service,
And uninclined to roam.
Jeannie is perhaps a blend
Of Meg and Amy both,
With a big heart for motherhood,
And to art she's pledged her troth.
I always thought that I was Meg,
The responsible eldest child;
But lately the word from others,
Is that I'm Jo, stormy and wild.
I never presumed to be Jo,
The writer extraordinaire,
I'm not nearly as brave as she,
With no clear "castle in the air."
I could use her determination,
Her willingness to try,
Because I feel stuck in my nest,
But I really want to fly.
Could it be that Jo and I are one?
After all, we love to write.
We long for great adventures,
And for books have a voracious appetite.
We both have hot tempers,
We've felt that we're too strange,
For us, family is everything,
And we don't want things to change.
Perhaps she’s been there all along,
My inner rebellious Jo,
Waiting to make her stamp on literature,
So posterity might hear her echo.
Maybe, as a woman,
I'm discovering the key,
To unlock her from the box
I've kept hidden in my psyche.
Awaken Jo! You were never meant to sleep!
Charge forth and wield your pen,
Go and face your Apollyon,
And you'll find you have courage times ten.
For “Genius burns” inside you,
And it's this that you must share,
For once you're busy with your talents,
Along might come Professor Bhaer.
Until then, be content and happy
With perfecting your own craft,
And when you least expect it,
Love will come at last.
So I am happy being Katie,
For she is all I know,
And now I have discovered,
That inside me I have Jo.