I recently entered a poetry contest where I was tasked with writing 21 poems, one for each day of the contest.
Until recently, poetry was one of my least favorite genres to write. When I write, I tend to go straight to the point. I don’t spend a lot of time on imagery, which is what you need in poetry.
However, last year I took a poetry class where the teacher asked us to answer a series of questions. He told us to write each answer on a separate sheet of paper. Then rearrange the slips of paper and use our answers to write a poem. I fell in love with this process and have been using it ever since. I often write interesting thoughts that come to mind and save them for future poems.
The first two poems I wrote for the contest were composed of my answers to questions from The New York Times’ “36 Questions That Lead to Love.” Clearly, a pattern of theater responses began to emerge, but also something else. A series of paper sheets made me fear that my goals might be cut short due to the climate crisis.
I realized how what I wanted out of life might end up not being possible because the world might just not last another 40 years. I decided to write a poem which is my plea for people to realize how serious the climate crisis is, especially for a generation like mine who has future hopes and dreams that just might not be possible. So here it is:
“Major Theater” written by Maddie Davies
Once in an acting class, I played a Russian assassin
so that my classmates were really scared of me.
Not being able to read sheet music causes more problems in my life than it should.
I write my diary with the intention that it will be found after my death.
People will think it’s so interesting
they will publish it.
My goal is to win an Oscar
Because I want to give an acceptance speech that people will remember for years to come.
Alas, we are heading towards a world end,
too late to change that.
I may never see 50.