What? You’re going to make me hike?
Of course I do. She shrugged lightly, looking at Ian. Let me know when your article is finished. If you’d like, I could forward it on to Jared.You— Ian choked on his own words, his face reverting to a deep vermilion. I—
He gasped, and I whacked him on the back. Ian, breathe.Miriam raised her eyebrows at him. Ian, you’ll be okay. Once you’ve been in the business as long as I have, you figure out that musicians are just people. Interesting people, but people just the same. She turned to me. Speaking of interesting people, let’s talk about you, Addie.My face attempted a copycat of Ian’s. Miriam’s attention felt sparkly, and a little too heavy. What about me?
She poked her finger at me. I hear you are quite the mechanic. That’s a talent. Maybe not one I can book, but a talent just the same. Ian said this trip wouldn’t have worked without you.Happiness bloomed in my chest. Ian, you said that?
He shrugged, a hint of a smile on his face. Well, it’s true, isn’t it?
Rowan piped up. If it weren’t for Addie, we’d still be dragging our tailpipe across Ireland. She even saved us today. Right after Blarney, my car started overheating and she managed to get us to the mechanic shop down the street.He Googled me. The bastard Googled me after I purposely didn’t Google him. I don’t know whether to feel flattered or betrayed. But now I look like a hypocrite, the Education Evangelist who can’t even follow a simple assignment.
Now I would have thought, he continues, that the woman who wrote that article would have quite a bit to say, actually, about how a poem makes her feel.I throw up my hands. It was one article. I’m not even a writer. I’m not saying I know how to build an arts curriculum, just that it’s a necessity, not a luxury!
He leans forward, excited. Exactly. It doesn’t define you. But it is a first impression, isn’t it? You’re the hypercompetitive American, a Rhodes scholar no less, who sees Oxford as a series of hurdles to clear like levels in some video game, and I? I’m the hypocritical poetry scholar, espousing grand theories of love whilst shagging a different wench every night. Brilliant, glad we got that sorted. But who are we, really, eh? We’ve told each other what we think, but we’ve no idea what we feel. That requires a conversation. Having words, having language, to connect us to ourselves and each other.He looks down at the book again and opens it. His rhythm has changed. He flips through it with excited purpose, some destination in mind. To truly experience a poem, he mutters, almost to himself, you need to feel it. A poem is alive, it has a voice. It is a person. Who are they? Why are they? He sticks his finger in the book, and closes it, holding his place. Then he looks back to me. Hearing her words, as she speaks to you, you think and feel certain things. Just as, hearing my words now, you think and feel certain things. Reading poetry is a conversation of feeling between two people. It shouldn’t answer anything, it should only create more questions, like any good conversation. What did she make you feel? That’s what I wanted you to examine.