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First of all, I wonder – did Edgar Allan Poe’s mother beg him to perhaps take a stab at writing?  You know, give it a try?  Just an idle question. (If you are unable to “get” those first two lines, consider yourself among the more intelligent of my Gentle Readers.)

Second, on noting Sidey’s weekend theme – Poetry – I was reminded of a dear friend of mine who mistook the title of the song, “Poetry in Motion,” to be “Oh! A Tree in Motion.”

Third, when I was in the third or fourth grade, I remember we were given the assignment to write a poem – a little bit of poetry to read before the class.  Since I had already been writing poetry for years by that time, I decided to get “cute.”  (Can you imagine that?)  Most of the poem has been lost forever, I’m afraid, in the archives of long ago, but the few lines that ended the poem have for whatever reason – perhaps for such a time as this – remained in my memory bank, and they go like this:

I had sat a long time pondering
A poem I could write
About the day spent wandering
With butterflies in flight.
And then at last it came to me
You’ll think it’s quite absurd
For I didn’t write a thing, you see
‘Twas too beautiful for words!

(The only other line I remember from that poem, only half of one of my usual couplets, is:  “My mind was racing like a Ford V-8,”)

Those of you who doubt that an 8 or 9-year-old would have and use such a vocabulary, don’t know about the way my parents raised me – especially my Dad.  He probably slipped a dictionary into my cradle the day I was born.  I grew up with an ever-broadening vocabulary, which made it hard for a lot of my peers, and even a few adults to understand me.  It took me longer to learn the perfectly acceptable “nickel” words than it did to learn the $5 words my Dad taught me.  He did the New York Times Crossword and the Boston Globe Crossword puzzles every day – in ink – and I frequently sat in his lap when I was a child and would kibitz as he filled in the white squares.  I grew to become a solver myself, except I only do the NYT puzzle – never much cared for the Boston Globe’s.

Back to poetry.  I have always loved writing limerick-style poems, and as I grew older I branched out into a number of forms, (only a few of which will occasionally appear in my blog – click on my tag “Original Poetry,” if you hunger for more! LOL, although I have little interest in strict forms, preferring to devise my own. In honor of Sidey’s theme, I will write a couple now – off the top of my (pointy) head just for her.  Let’s call them:

 “An Ode to Sidey” – #1

I’ve never read you from the front
All your views come from the side
But I think I can describe the rest
Of you, despite how hard you’ve tried.
To hide yourself from those who read
Your mighty “Sidey” views.
But out of deference to you
I won’t give any clues. 
I won’t divulge what I’ve discerned
To the many who would seek it.
I’ll acquiesce and not disclose
Your closely guarded secret
Of how you look, and choose the subjects
Of the stories that you’ve made up
Your opinions read each morning
Drinking coffee from our mug or cup.
And then you challenge each of us
Suckers, for your “weekend theme.”
That is why I wrote this poem
I’m powerless in your scheme
To torture writers such as I
With nothing else to do
Than to post about your odd ideas,
Just like you want us to.
Ode to Sidey – #2 

Why have you disguised yourself
Only giving us your side-view?
Even your blog title 
Only serves to hide you.
If each side of you is equal,
Why not show your front with pride?
Because you won’t, then it must be
You’re really Jekyll and Hyde.

(Both poems are 
© 2011 Paula Tohline Calhoun
but who else would want to claim them?)

I have always loved words.  One word, or one brief line can say as much as any picture, contrary to the old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  Don’t get me wrong – a you know, I love pictures!  Photography has become a life-line for me.  But the thing about words that differs from pictures – for me, at least, is that they appeal to more than one sense ( including nonsense).  As they are read, they can be heard, spoken, they can be deeply felt within the heart and soul, and with Braille, they can be touched and felt through the hands of the blind – and to each person who experiences words, something different is understood, and a different sound, picture, and feeling come to one’s mind.  Words are magic.  They can bruise and they can heal; they can kill and they can resurrect.  I believe that every living thing has a language of its own, and some of that language will and must be poetry.  Words can be dark, yes, but in my heart I always remember that the first words ever spoken conquered the dark.  Just four simple words – “Let there be light!”  And there was light.

OK, Sidey – I fell for your scheme once again.  Have you had enough. . .?