This is an excerpt from my post over at The Deeper Story. Follow the link below to read the rest.
My senior year of high school I took an AP English class. It was the only AP class offered, and despite my disdain for English classes, my desire to take fewer classes in college drove me to sign up for it.
All I remember from the class is that we read Chaucer, and the only reason I remember reading Chaucer is because we had a competition to see who could write the most Chauceresque tale. Being ridiculously competitive I armed myself with pen, locked myself in my room, and forced myself into a iambic pentameter induced fantasy world. It is with great pride that I say I won the Chaucer Award that year.
My senior year of college I needed two English credits to graduate. I scanned the class listings for a class that would fulfill my credit needs while simultaneously requiring little to nothing of me. Friends suggested I take a class simply called “Poetry.” I hadn’t written a poem since, well…ever, but a friend who graduated a few years before me said that for his final poem he wrote, “The dew on the grass drips” and got an A.
“That’s about as much work as I want to do,” I thought as I signed up for poetry.
I wrote my first poem in iambic pentameter to impress the professor. He looked at me like I was an moron. Apparently writing poetry didn’t involve clapping out syllables.
During the class I managed to squeeze out some words that resembled poetry. The class gave me space to work out the confusion I was feeling about life and faith. I had recently been engaged. Notice the “had”. My ex-fiance and I broke it off in January just before my final semester of college began. Everything I was so certain about was tossed up in the air. Fears about graduation, what I would do for a job, and heartbreak made their way onto the page. On top of all that, I was stepping into adulthood and I didn’t even know what it meant to be an adult.