I Want a Girl Who Reads

The first time I heard poet Mark Grist perform the poem I Want a Girl Who Reads, in this video from YouTube, I proceeded to listen to it several times in succession. Not only did I instantly connect to the poem itself and the sentiment behind it, but I was entranced by the way he performed it. I say “perform” and not “recite” because it’s the performance that really brings it home for me.

It’s a poem but he’s not just saying words, he’s telling a story. and how he tells that story is key: the way he lingers on some words and speeds past others, how the  awkwardness is conveyed at the beginning but then morphs into adoring smiles and respectful passion that we can feel as well as hear and see, the shifting gaze as well as the hand movements that emphasize his points. It makes me feel proud to be a girl who reads, validated. and just a bit naughty…

 

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2 thoughts on “I Want a Girl Who Reads

    1. I Googled him after I first saw that video and I found out that he’s a teacher who tries to foster a love of words with teenagers through participating in rap battles, traveling around schools and holding workshops, etc. I don’t particularly like rap myself but I do acknowledge that it is a form of poetry and I try to familiarize myself with it for the sake of my teenage son, who loves it. to see an adult who is able and willing to tap into non-traditional ways of getting kids to learn and actually like it, to nurture that need for them to be heard and give them an outlet where they can freely express themselves; I respect that immensely 😎

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