I’d bet most people look at poetry the same way they do modern art; that is, squint at it, baffled, and walk away shaking their heads. While I’ll admit I’ve had that experience with modern art, poetry remains something special to me.
I don’t know when I discovered poetry, but it feels like it’s been with me my entire life. Like most kids, I loved Dr. Seuss and, when I was a little older, Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends, Falling Up, and most all the books of poems he wrote. Fast forward to high school, and I had started writing poems of my own—shorts, tentative ones, but poems, nonetheless. These were, I think, my first tottering steps towards my love for poetry. But as soon as I took my first poetry class at Butler, I knew I was hooked.
I’ve always been something of a wordsmith. I love words searches, anagrams, Boggle, Scrabble, you name it. I used to think up different letter combinations in my head and see how many words I could make with it. In a sense, I think poetry provides an entire world of wordplay that nothing else does for me. I love the sounds that different words make, strung together as they tumble off my tongue, the inventive images those words evoke, and the playground of language that is a poem. Using words as a medium to express and invoke feelings, emotions, memories, and sensations fascinates me.
Simply put, poetry moves me. It’s always there, waiting but elusive, and it requires a different way of thinking than does solving a math problem, reading a novel, or filling in a crossword. Often, poetry doesn’t make sense, but it’s not supposed to. I love the attentive ear and boundless imagination you have to embrace while reading or writing a poem as the words come alive on the page. To me, poetry isn’t something to be read; rather, it’s something to be experienced.
I think I’m more enthralled with language and words at this point in my life than I have been before. Ever since first grade, I’ve loved writing and dreamed of becoming an author. Now, my love for words and dreams of writing take a slightly different shape—that of a poet.
Matt Del Busto is a habitually overcommitted sophomore at Butler University studying English Creative Writing and Spanish. He’s also involved in the university Catholic community, the Butler newspaper The Collegian, and the Diversity Center. Matt grew up in Carmel and enjoys most activities involving writing and eating.