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Poetry Friday: “I Never Wanted to Fly”

Poetry_Friday logoLeave it to me to go on vacation and consequently miss an email about a poem being selected for publication! I just learned TODAY (even though I got the email a month ago) that my poem, “Coming to Terms” has been selected for inclusion in the upcoming anthology, Trigger Warning: Poetry Saved My Life, being edited by slam poet Zachary Kluckman.

I’m thrilled to be part of this important book, which is due out late August-early Sept. And I’m also excited for Zach for another reason…He has been nominated for 2 National Poetry Awards – Slam Artist of the Year and Slam Organizer of the Year – and has been asked to be a Featured Performer at this event next month.

So today,  I thought I’d share something a little more mature. This is a poem I wrote about 3 years ago based on a poetry prompt about flying. Because I often find that my creativity flows when I take contrary or unlikely perspectives, it makes sense that this is more about not flying than it is about flying!

(Then again, it’s completely about flying. It’s all a matter of how you look at it!)

And as always, there’s a lot more to Poetry Friday – Linda Kulp has the complete Roundup today at Write Time!

I Never Wanted to Fly

I never wanted to fly;
height never seduced me.
Soaring above trees and planes,
only Heaven above,
seemed careless
abandonment of the firmness of ground –
foolishness, it was.

I never wanted to fly;
flight never enticed me.
I had no need of grace and speed,
beauty of motion,
no higher calling;
the effort fruitless
as a dead Macintosh.

I embraced
refusing capricious aspirations
a life time
and time again, and now
bound to earth
I wonder
I never wanted to fly.

© 2011, Matt Forrest Esenwine

Added at 3:53 PM EDST:
This is for you, Margaret! Thanks for stopping by!


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23 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “I Never Wanted to Fly”

  1. Love this, Matt! And congratulations!

  2. margaretsmn on said:

    Please record this! I want to hear your voice, even though I can imagine it. Love the rhythm. Congratulations!

  3. Lovely poem, Matt! Especially like “the effort fruitless/as a dead Macintosh.” You are seriously on an anthology acceptance roll– congrats to you!!!

  4. Matt — congratulations on your big news. Zach is an amazing community activist for poetry. Your poem may regret having its feet on the ground, but your work is certainly taking flight!

  5. Congratulations, what a summer of poetry you are having, Matt! I love this, but to me it’s sad. The poem has such a strong voice. That “I embraced
    ……….security; I know a few people like that!

  6. Congratulations on the publication.
    I know this feeling, this sense of not wanting to fly as if security, stability and gravity mattered more. I remember reflecting on the fear of flying of having to decide to cut my wings.

    Thanks for sharing this poem. It is beautiful at the same time thought provoking.

  7. Congratulations, Matt! You’re on fire with all your publication news. : ) Love your poem too. (This is the second time I’ve tried to comment, so you may end up with two!)

  8. Heidi on said:

    Masterful mood and tone here, Matt. Congratulations!

  9. best thing i’ve read of yours. SALUD!!!

  10. Bittersweet/melancholy poetry is my favorite–this is wonderful. The ending feels inevitable, one of those hard life lessons…

  11. margaretsmn on said:

    Thanks for adding the voice. I hear in your voice the wistful wishfulness. (say that three times fast)
    I have been seeing more performance poetry and I imagined it more as a beat poem, snarky, not wistful. I’m glad you added this dimension for my deeper understanding. I think poetry is meant to be read aloud.

  12. Matt, I enjoyed your poem but especially liked the flow of this,
    “I embraced
    refusing capricious aspirations”

    Congratulations on your accomplishments!

  13. Jessica Bigi on said:

    wonderful reading and wonderful poem I,’v all love to love to see birds flying and wish I could fly like the do

    • Thanks so much, everyone! I wish I could respond to every comment, but I’ve been crazy-busy with the 2 kids today, running errands and such, But I do appreciate your kind words.

      And Margaret, I tend to be more wistful than snarky in real life, so I suppose that’s why the poem came out that way!

  14. maryleehahn on said:


    Love this poem. Those last three lines are killer!!

  15. Love the poem, too – and the recording was a wonderful addition.

  16. Pingback: Poetry Friday: "I Never Wanted to Fly&quot...

  17. Irene on said:

    Yay for your publication news!! Congratulations, and thank you for sharing this sky-high poem. Keep ‘em coming!

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