Mya Hall: Poetry, Pandemics, and Student Government

For my summer experiential learning project, I was able to create a small volume of poetry based on my experiences working on the Student Government Association Executive Board, being a college student during a pandemic, and being a black woman in America. (You can read one of my poems  at the end of this blog post). Sometime ago I stumbled across a quote that said, “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” (Anaïs Nin). To me this means that writing can act as a healing mechanism. It can help you relive moments in your life that may have been pleasant or unpleasant, but this time you are the author of those moments. This gave me the courage to start writing again. My work, just as I hoped, ranges from my thoughts while having to adjust to the new sense of normal during this pandemic, deals with challenges that I might uncover while being a liason for the student body to SGA, and also deals with mental health while trying to focus on university life. Participating in the special project gave me an escape from the world and also served as a creative release for me.

My poetry has acted as a way to work through past traumas that I have experienced. Releasing my emotions on pen and paper really helped me to fully grow from my experiences. If I could change anything about my initial proposal, it would be to center my poetry more around the racial tension being experienced in the country right now. My poems did speak on the other topics I listed above also but mainly had a focus on race. I am very grateful for this opportunity to participate in this learning experience, and I encourage everyone to take advantage of the opportunities we have as honors students. Below is my favorite poem that I wrote during this experiential learning journey.

“I Too” Share the Blues

“I Too” share the blues of Langston Hughes

Just like Langston I too never knew the America that “Let America be America Again”

The only America I never was filled with sin never a grin

For anyone whose skin was darker than tin but we still rise as early as mother hen.

“I Too” share the blues of Langston Hughes

Just like “The Negro (who) Speaks of Rivers” I too share the same thought that the mark of my

dark complexion is not a omen but an amen because this blackness has been

the guiding force for all men from even way back when.

“I Too” share the blues of Langston Hughes

Just like Langston Hughes I know all about “The Weary Blues”

The blues that are marked by deceit and pain

The blues that are heavy as rain.

The blues that make you feel all alone

And the ones that bring forth songs.

These weary blues are a way to cope.

These blues are also a way to bring us hope.

So yea “I Too” Share the Blues of Langston Hughes.

May his words continue to be my muse.