I think it was in The Dreamers when I was introduced to the idea that every poem is a ballot, or a protest. A testament of what we’re willing to stand for, die for, strive to change for. Maybe it had always been in the back of mind, this poetry philosophy. In my twenties, it just made sense.
As with everything, time had a way of changing my mindset. I still believe that every poem is a ballot; however, in addition to that, I’ve come to see that every poem is a love poem. A political poem stands for what we hold dear. A poem written out of anger, sheds light on what we love. A sad poem lists the things we have loss, what we wish we held on to, what we long for.
Maybe I’m just overthinking these things. I’m prone to doing that every now and again.
This just came to mind as I listened to John Green read Matthew Olzmann’s poem, “Mountain Dew Commercial Disguised as a Love Poem.”
You can follow along with John Green in the video, or – if you’re more inclined to reading it yourself – you can read it here. There’s also a recording of the poem read by Pádraig Ó Tuama in the link.
“Mountain Dew Commercial Disguised as a Love Poem” can be found in Mezzanines by Matthew Olzmann.