Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

RTW – Stolen English Poem


rtwlogoThis week’s topic is: April is National Poetry Month! Share your favorite poem(s) or poet.

My taste in poetry is pretty much like my taste in books, songs and superhero movies. I enjoy moving little moments and emotional punches.

When I was a teen (and slightly obsessed with The Cure), I read a poem excerpt on the inside flap of the album “wish” from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “To a Skylark” that pretty much sums up what I’m talking about:

We look before and after,

And pine for what is not:

Our sincerest laughter

With some pain is fraught;

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

Many of my faves are well-know: Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost, Fog by Carl Sandburg, and A Supermarket in California by Allen Ginsberg.

But there’s one I’ve never seen anywhere else again, other than the first time I read it in some Scholastic type publication during AP English senior year. I’m really glad I was a rebel and didn’t think twice about ripping it out of my magazine.

The top of the page reads “Knowledge,” so I’m guessing that’s the title. It was written by Heather Dionne, a senior from City Honors School in Buffalo, NY. The page is dated January 1997.

I love you like rain or tapioca
But you’re wearing your face clumsily today.

I know your voice on the telephone.
I can hear it when you smile.
And I know what’s in your pockets
Hope and coins and spearmint gum
And I know what you dream,
But only because you tell me.
I know the exact color of your eyes
I know where you got that sweater
Your cat’s name and how many stripes she has
I know how you eat apples and how your writing looks
What you can cook and how fast you can run
I know what you think about the music I listen to
That you think I’m too skinny
That you like the color of my hair.
I know a million ways that you laugh
And I know your taste in sneakers and people.

But not where you keep your thoughts
Or if you cry.

It was cloudy when we arrived;
It was raining when I left.

I have no idea if this person still writes or what ever became of her, but on the random chance she’ll one day stumble across my blog – great poem! I still love it, 16 years later.


Author: Jennifer Pickrell

I write YA contemporary filled w/ romance, angst & family drama. Things I like: cats, snacks, baseball, green tea, taking pictures of trees & movies so bad, they’re good.

12 thoughts on “RTW – Stolen English Poem

  1. That is an awesome poem–I really love the line “But you’re wearing your face clumsily today.”
    And how cool is it that you ripped it out of a magazine in HS? The coolest.

  2. Great poem. Thanks for sharing it. I also like Nothing Gold Can Stay.

  3. I loved the poem.

    My favorite poets are Plath and Sexton.

  4. Wow. Lovely, Jen. What an amazing poem. I hope she is still writing.

    • I looked up the name, hoping she’d published an entire book of poems, but couldn’t find much info. In my mind I imagine she changed her name upon marriage and is still scribbling away somewhere 🙂

  5. Wow, how glad I am that you stole this. It’s beautiful. I always feel bad that I know so little about poetry. Maybe it’s time to change that.

  6. I googled a part of this from memory to see if I could find it online. I read this as a teenager and loved it… I always remembered it and saved it somewhere in my article clippings. I think it was written by a student and won an award – I received it in a newsletter in high school I think. Ever since I read this is was and still is my favorite poem. I’ll look for the newsletter at home. I know I have it in a box from high school.

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