Monday, October 8, 2012
Last week I had the opportunity of seeing Sandra Cisneros (acclaimed author of The House on Mango Street) in person. My high school English teacher from many years ago had a playful, yet obsessive infatuation with her, so I was curious and excited to see the person he adored so much. I don't have any pictures to prove the happening of this event, so you'll just have to take my word for it. She along with other writers were at the University of Houston to talk about poetry and politics. She had a quirky, down to earth, wise, passionate aura about her. She read poems from various obscure authors, but before doing that she told us how she was having trouble picking one of her own poems to read because "I couldn't think of one I liked." After the readings she participated in a panel discussion. She listened more than she spoke, but every now and then she offered her insights. She entered the conversation saying, "Politicians sound like mirrors of each other. They say what people want to hear, and poets say the truth." She went to describe the poet as the "antithesis" of the politician. Later the conversation shifted into the moneymaking aspects of poetry, and at that point she said, "It's more important to deliver the poetry than for people to buy it." Then she offered her unique suggestions to make poetry more prevalent in our everyday lives, "Poems should be on the back of cereal boxes. Poems should be in bags of Frito chips. Clothes should have poems for when we stand in line."