The first time I fell in love with poetry was when my sister introduced me to Sarah Kay in middle school. The Japanese-Jewish poet instantly grabbed my attention, forcing me to reckon with this new and intriguing art form. I wasn’t a writer back then; music was my muse and writing an unclimbable mountain over which famed novelists and poets resided. Sarah’s poetry, however, was heartbreaking and understandable even for child me who hid all her worry and anxiety in knee high combat boots. I continued watching Sarah’s spoken word videos as I traversed through high school, increasingly finding myself guided toward the paper and pen. Now as I near the end of my collegiate career and my whole life revolves around writing, Sarah’s pieces bring ever more healing and inspiration. I was lucky enough to attend Sarah’s poetry reading in Tyler yesterday and I was starstruck the entire time. I memorized every poem she recited, listened intently as if I were in a dream come to life. Prior to meeting her, I planned a full fangirl speech
including: “we are both Japanese, that is neat; I know all of your poems
by heart; you are my hero; please read my poetry on my blog; please
introduce me to Clint and Hanif and Kaveh; etc,” but instead said “hi am BIG
fan” and skedaddled away, the poems I printed to share with her still tucked in my purse. Perhaps one day I’ll have the courage and confidence to share my private words motivated by my first favorite poet.