Sunday poems

This post reflects what I love so much about learning and discovering.  This weekend, I was able to sneak away to a large bookstore (two huge levels FILLED with books).  It’s been a while since I’ve just spent several hours immersed in books.  It was refreshing, relaxing, exhilarating.  Naturally, I got caught up in the science section first (typical, eh?).  Then my interests meandered over to the math section.  I was intrigued by a book about prime numbers and another one about the law of randomness.  But finally I ventured into unknown, not terribly charted but always intriguing territory…

The poetry section.

I yearned to grab a wonderful book of poems off the shelf and lose myself in it, but I felt incapable of determining what would qualify as “good.”  I am uneducated on most features of poetic rules.  Although the words dance for me, I don’t think I understand or fully appreciate the dance.  It’s like how someone who has learned how hard the dance steps are can see that although the tango looks effortless, it actually requires great skill.  In the same way, a great poet makes words dance on a page in an effortless waltz or a passionate tango.  But it is that deceiving essence of effortlessness that makes the dance so beautiful.  However I, a mere scientist, cannot always appreciate the effort and skill involved in poetic dances.

As I sat there, feeling almost helpless and unsure of what I was looking for in the poetry section, I also felt hopeful.  Hopeful of still losing myself in the dance.  Hopeful of learning how the dance works.  It has been a long time since I felt that sense of awe and wonder to something so unknown, so familiar, but yet so interesting.  I remembered how intoxicating the feeling of wonderment is, and I missed how much I used to feel it.

I wanted to experience the poetry.  I want to feel it, to know the author’s rawness and truth.  And isn’t that the point of any text or art form?  To invite your reader in and say, “Go here with me.”  As I dreamed about going to magical places with the poets and authors that surrounded me, I smiled a contented smile and said to myself, “This is what Sundays are for.”

About Megan Johnson Shen

I am a social psychologist graduating with my Ph.D. from Baylor University this May and moving to NYC this summer to start a new job as a postdoctoral researcher at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in the Cancer Prevention and Control Department. I love the brain, human behavior, and anything to do with understanding them better. I love research and a good dinner party. Fine wine and cheese - I'm there. Interesting experimental data? I'll probably show for that too. View all posts by Megan Johnson Shen

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