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Love Poetry for Every Age @ Mystery to Me Bookstore

Posted: 12:45PM March 5th, 2015 | Comments

By Erica Beckman 

In recognition of Valentine’s Day, a love poetry reading was held at the Mystery to Me bookstore on Monroe Street. In a quaint meeting space in the back of the bookstore, chairs were unfolded in a semicircle around a raised podium where the readers rested their poetry for recitation.

Those who came to read their love poems were brave souls with true passions for writing. I admired their willingness to bare their feelings to a crowd of mixed associations. Sprinkled amongst fellow poets from their community poetry group were strangers like myself squeezing into a space too small to accommodate all of the people who had come to listen.
The bulk of the poetry was a showcase of love poems written by a man whose love for his wife, Carol, is deeply profound and romantic. She was transformed into a princess, her house a castle, and her life lived with a noble cause. The scenes he painted with his poetry were drawn directly from a fairytale come true in the form of this woman.

The author of these poems had asked a woman with a soft, low, buttery voice to read a subset of the Carol-centric poetry. She reminded me of my elementary school librarian as the smooth lulling sounds of syllables rolled off of her tongue. Sitting there in my chair I closed my eyes and flashed back to a time long ago. My flashback took me back to a time where I sat cross-legged on the floor listening to children’s stories, admiring the colorful pictures, and feeling an indescribable comfort every time the pages crinkled as they were turned.
Between readings centered on Carol, one particular younger poet stood out to me (apart from the man who recited his deepest affections for figs, of course!). The young poet recited his poem in a nearly spoken word type of way. Before I knew it, I had boarded a rollercoaster of thrilling, lust-filled passions of his affections for a woman he once knew. The poem began cool and collected and with a crescendo of his voice and the carefully composed compilation of words, it grew intense, peaking with a shout and then plummeting into complete silence. A silence so perfectly positioned in time and duration. And then just as the poem began, it ended in a cool low collected composure.

I wondered as I listened if after this session I’d ever be able to see a romantic gesture or perform one the same ever again. I may not be as prolific a writer as the poets at the reading but I know when I am touched by the words of others. This Valentine’s Day, for me, became a reminder to rediscover my love for poetry and deep appreciation for writers who share their work.

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