Solar Envy

Published in Laurentian Magazine in 2019.

I took Introduction to Poetry when I was a junior at St. Lawrence. Poetry was the last class I ever would have picked, but it was the only credit I could find to work towards my creative writing requirements. I tried desperately to get into fiction, but the class was full. I was feeling stressed about graduating on time because I was a junior, so I settled for poetry.

Despite my preconceptions about poetry, I found I loved my teacher, Sarah. She made every class super fun and interesting. I ended up taking Advanced Poetry senior year with her, and it didn’t even count towards anything in my degree. I took it because I loved poetry by that point.

This poem, my only poem published (so far), was the very first poem I ever wrote. In Introduction to Poetry, Sarah gave us an “object prompt,” and every one of us had to pick an object from her box and write a poem about it. Whoever raised their hand first got the object. When she pulled out eclipse glasses, I tried to raise my hand first, but Liam raised his hand faster.

Luckily, later something else popped up that Liam wanted more. “You can have the eclipse glasses, Katie,” Liam offered. My eyes lit up, because I knew exactly what I was going to write about: I was mad because I was in Australia when a solar eclipse happened at home.

Personifying the eclipse glasses in the beginning of the poem was an idea of mine sparked by Sarah; she told us in class, “I love writing poems through the lens of an object. I imagine what the object is thinking.”

The entire poem is about how I wish I was across the world watching the solar eclipse. I’ve never seen one; when I came back to the U.S., an awesome eclipse happened in Australia. Go figure.

Much of the poem, including the last stanza, describes the physical appearance of the eclipse glasses.

Let’s raise an iced coffee to the best genre out there: poetry.

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