Today’s poem is another one I read in class… several classes, in fact, and I can’t place where I first encountered it. There are at least two reasons I love this poem. One is the obvious sentiment of knowing the flaws of who or what you love and loving it anyway, finding joy in what others see as joyless. As Patrick Rothfuss’s Kvothe says, “that is rare and pure and perfect.” But I’m getting ahead of myself (insert mischievous smile here.) The other reason I like this poem is that it is an updated, everyman’s version of Shakespeare, sonnet 130 to be exact. I am not sure which reason bears more weight on my love. I think mostly they spin back and forth in my head in an endless cycle of win. Oh, you want to know what the poem is called, do you? It’s “Dim Lady” by Harryette Mullen. Poets and Writers has a video of her reading it here. (And just to add a third reason I like this poem, she also gives a brief intro concerning where the poem sprang from.)
The second half of finding joy in unexpected places concerns the string of bad days I seem to have been having. I’m so frazzled that I just booked a greyhound bus ticket for the wrong day. And do to e-ticketing, I can’t change said date. But back in UNM, I had a couple of friends who had a method for cheering up when times got rough. They formed a Laugh Club, where, once a week, for half an hour, they practiced laughing. It sounds ridiculous, but the mere act of laughing made things less stressful. It only lasted one semester, but it’s a sentiment I like to carry with me. And a sentiment I should follow more often. This poem is based in that same sentiment. And it’s dedicated to Eyoälha Baker and her Jump for Joy Project.
I jump when I lock my keys in my car.
I jump when my boss walks in the door.
I jump when I can’t see my sister from afar.
I jump when I fall on the floor.
I jump when I get in a fight with a friend.
I jump when my house is a mess.
I jump when my wits are coming to an end.
I jump when I rip my dress.
I jump when I burned the roast.
I jump when I’m unloved by a particular boy.
I jump when I need to jump the most.
Why not jump for joy?