Although our grandchildren are getting older, there are still toys in our house, and I am loathe to give them up. I prefer to keep them in case there’s something novel to discover for a little visitor, and perhaps there’s more than that. It’s difficult to leave childhood behind.
It isn’t only the young who find joy in novelty, in giving imagination free rein. It seems a creative spirit thrives on playfulness all our lives, and for me it’s certainly there in poetry.
Poets can be mischievous and mysterious, they play games of metaphorical hide and seek. The smallest of details contain signs to follow into profound watery depths, secret attics, and mysterious trapdoors. Rhythm and alliteration delight us with their sound, so that poetry can be pure joy to read aloud. Its’ imagery creates structure and helps us to remember.
I once took an evening poetry class, and at that late hour the students’ energy levels could flag. Perhaps it helps to bring more life experiences to the table, because even then I would find it hard to restrain my enthusiasm. “How come,” I once overheard a student say, “the mature students always have so many questions?” And when students participated, the classes came alive, so that I wondered how they had gained so much wisdom at such a young age. Inspiration caught fire as you suddenly saw something new.
Poetry at Play
“A sudden click inside my head
The tumbler falls in place;
The golden door now swings ajar
Just look at where we are!
Abracadabra, a magic word
Contains the perfect key
A poem is like a toy
It’s living playfully.
Because it is so very true
There’s hidden jewels to be found
In mazes, maps, and riddles
In spinning a top round and round.
Rocking dolly with lullaby, or
Thrilling march of prancing horses
When music box begins its lilting rock
Who can stay the dancer’s courses?
Slinky syllables slowly slide
And jack-in-the-box jumps to take a peek
And look, just hiding over there
Is the very clue for which you seek.
Kaleidoscopes of colours
Light up an ordinary thing
3D and optical illusions
Open our eyes to discovering.
It speaks of long ago, and far away
And days to come with lots to do.
Treasures more precious far than gold
When their message is revealed to you.”