How “Chicago Poems” Changed My Life

The Quirky Writer

Every now and then, you read a poem that changes your way of thinking. Sometimes, a poem will go so far as to smack your way of thinking right on the head with a baseball bat, knock it upside down feet over head,  then sit staring at it with a contemplative, I-told-you-so smirk on its face.

That’s what I’m talking about. A poem that introduces you to ideas you never had before.

When I was growing up, I always loved books. But I especially loved poetry. I would memorize with glee the last few stanzas of “Paul Revere’s Ride” or Frost’s “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening,” which I can still recite to this day.

I started writing poems for English courses, but it gradually grew into a more habitual thing. Before long, I was writing all the time, for fun, when I was sad, or when I simply…

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