Last month, there was a contest for the best personification poem at Inside the Writer’s Studio, an online poetry workshop I frequently participate in, and guess what?! I won!
Many thanks to Rachel Mallino for hosting this workshop and creating such a professional environment, as well as for providing the contest prize - a poetry book of my choice.
I picked the book Tender Hooks: Poems by Beth Ann Fennelly and it has been every bit as engaging and revealing as I'd hoped. Ms. Fennelly is widely published in literary magazines – if you haven't read her work, keep an eye out for it. She writes some of the most interesting, surprising, and honest poems out there today.
And now, here's my winning personification poem:
You Will Attend
This is the way it’s going to be:
you will listen when I speak with my fingers,
attend the voices inside me but never say a word yourself.
I don’t need you talking back,
no belligerent hmmms or boops of surprise.
Keep yourself ready; no snooze, no slumber.
Don’t let your attention dim
even when I pause long enough
to fix a cup of cocoa, thumb a book,
stare through windows at lengthening shadows.
Save your temperament for other writers and dreamers,
the way you stubbornly stick to a’s, t’s, and n’s
as though you have the right to censor my words.
Or how you sometimes freeze, seize up in fear
at the truth of what I write.
I don’t need your complacent reminders, either –
I can grammatise my own world.
Stick with your binary belief system and listen.
Listen to my fingertips upon you, mute partner
in my creation of the universe.