Poetry as an art form and creative outlet is an incredibly powerful way for us to honor our emotions. Too often, we are taught to believe that our thoughts and feelings are “good” or “bad” and that we should avoid displaying certain emotions like sadness or anxiety. This was the experience for Kevin Love, who felt the constant expectation to be “strong” or “tough,” not only physically, but emotionally as well – especially as a professional athlete.
To honor World Poetry Day on March 21st, we celebrate this form of creative expression and encourage everyone to create, experience, and share poetry with family and friends. This day was created by UNESCO to “support linguistic diversity through poetic expression, and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.” Through poetry, we can share stories of difficult things that have happened in our lives, and develop empathy for others as we listen to their stories.
The power of poetry is the chance to see that we are not alone; as Kevin often says, “Everyone is Going Through Something You Can’t See.” Do you have a story you wish you could share with others? Use the prompt “I could tell you…” to write your story as a poem. Begin with this phrase and then let your words pour out onto the page.
In the fall, Kevin Love is launching a curriculum full of creative prompts like this one that will encourage students to honor and express their emotions. From all of us at the Kevin Love Fund, we hope you will share your poem using the form below – and follow us on Instagram on March 21st to read other poems written by your peers.
“I Could Tell You” poem by Ellie Foster
I could tell you about the way his lips pursed together at the end of a yawn, a small pucker of pink chapped lips, that I wanted to kiss them and sometimes I did.
I could tell you about holding him in my arms as he slept, feeling his warm breath on my cheek, the sweet smell I couldn’t pinpoint- maybe formula, maybe lotion, maybe skin, I could tell you I saved one container of formula after he died so that I could smell it when I missed him.
I could tell you that my longing is weighted, that I miss his weight the most, the heaviness in my arms and when someone gave me a teddy bear to hold when I missed him, I said “thank you” but, I was actually thinking it was too light, how it didn’t hurt my elbow and I wanted my arms to ache the way they did when I held him for too long. It would have been more helpful to give me a burlap sack of rocks.
I could tell you about the waves of intensity, like vibrations and aches, the first wave of extraordinary superhuman love when I saw his face for the first time, the wordless gasp when I saw it for the last time.