Why I Love Poetry series
"I don’t remember the first time I encountered a poem. I’m sure that the first time was not an earth shattering experience. I did not begin craving poetry until my sophomore year of high school when I got the chance to experience poetry in a new way."
"Grammar is an agreement. We agree on subjects and objects, tenses and clauses, periods and commas, because those agreements facilitate communication. They give us a place to start, a system that allows strangers to exchange information, ideas, opinions, and emotions. But these agreements create, include, or, at the very least, imply a logic structure."
Nicco Mele, co-founder of Mass Poetry, estimates he can recite between 200 and 400 poems. “Closer to the 400, probably,” he says. And it all began in 2001 with a New York subway ad that displayed a poem by John Hollander. The subway was crowded, so crowded he couldn’t open a book. Day after day he was wedged in for a long ride. It was then he noticed the poem, “Summer Day,” and to relieve his boredom, he memorized it.
"My mother used to build a fire, pull me onto her lap and, instead of reading nursery rhymes, she’d open her high school poetry textbook. (Imagine a high school text devoted solely to poetry!) Reading poems to her four-year-old was a winter ritual. I still remember the warmth of those evenings – the fire, the hot chocolate, her cozy lap, and the sound of the words. I knew several of those poems by heart before I learned to read."