Matched by Ally Condie
I am an avid Pinterest user, a site that is good for more than just DIY projects and wedding plans. There are a lot of nerdy pins on Pinterest and I keep a board called “Book Love and Language Lust.” A while ago I repinned a list of books to read if you liked The Hunger Games. Since I devoured The Hunger Games and it is so difficult to find decent YA, I figured it would come in handy. Recently I hit up Half-Price Books and bought a few of the books on the list. One of them being Matched.
I read Matched first because I needed something quick and fun in between some longer, harder reads. I didn’t expect Matched to be one of the most emotionally challenging reads of my life. The book takes place in a Utopic society where every major and minor life decision is made for the citizens. What they eat, their career, who they marry, how many kids they have, what they do in their recreational time, even when they die.
The book starts on the main character Cassia’s Matching Day. She is going to a banquet with other girls her age to find out who she will be matched with and eventually marry. Most girls are matched with boys from other cities but Cassia is surprisingly matched with her best friend Xander. She, Xander, and their families couldn’t be happier. But later, when reviewing her match information, another name and face appear. Another name and face she recognizes, the mysterious Ky.
The book progresses with Cassia breaking all the rules to try and learn if Ky is really the person she is supposed to be with or if it is Xander as predicted.
It is a really emotionally hard read as Cassia has to learn how to understand love and face the thought of rebellion.
What I really liked about this book was the details of culture. The Society had determined years earlier that the world was overrun with culture and because of that no one was truly appreciating any of it. So they formed The Hundred Committee, who chose 100 Poems, Songs, Paintings, etc and that is it for the rest of forever. There is no creation. There is nothing new. Citizens don’t even learn to write, they only know how to pick out letters on a key board.
In the book Cassia learns to write and to create her own words and it is beautiful. It so powerfully hit me that our lives are a gift. The fact I can type or write is a gift, that I can read thousands of books or listen to thousands of songs. That I can form my personality around the culture I love and appreciate, instead of what has been chosen for me to love and appreciated. It struck me as beautiful and taken for granted.
Post-It Note Poetry
Now, I am no poet. My creativity begins and ends with prose. But this idea that I can write with my hands, and not just a keyboard, really stuck with me. There’s a real difference between striking a key and seeing the letter appear on a screen and actually writing it out. And I can write cursive, which is even more intense.
So I wanted to use this gift and write with my hands, but writing prose by hand is really not my thing. I can barely read my handwriting, I write the story too fast because I don’t want to wait to get to the good stuff,, and due to a past surgery, it causes my hand to cramp up.
So I decided to write poetry, short random tidbits in my head to use my ability to write with paper and ink. I started on a post-it note and viola! Poems that are no longer than a post-it. Since my poetry is admittedly awful, not one of them is longer than a few lines. They aren’t edited or really thought out. Just what came to my mind at the time.
I present: Post-It Note Poetry
1. (Before I really realized what I was doing.)
I can use my hand to write
flying twenty leagues
Gray skies in blue
2. (This one is my favorite.)
Blue shirts on burly men who are lost but know exactly where they are. But… a GPS can’t locate the soul, doesn’t know the road to your heart.
3. (To, fro, to, from, whence. It all makes perfect sense.)
Ghosts on a wet plane of crazy people wandering, to, fro, to, From whence they come, grey, beautiful wisps upon the surface of our reality.
4. (This one is particularly awful.)
Time is fleeting, goes by so fast when we’re having fun, when we don’t care how fast it goes. Slow when we watch, like a pot, but fleeting even when slow.
5. (I think I lost track of what I was saying halfway through.)
I need to spill the words onto blank states be it paper or carving the words into my skin, into my soul, with a fingernail or a piece of my soul. Paper or flesh, a permanent flowing.
6. (I don’t hate this)
Stick up for me because my bones are fragile but my heart is paper thin, so easily nicked by words, crumpled by a down-turned look. Have my back to keep me whole.
Spinning and twisting, likes hands manipulating, kneading and folding, baking and drawing, and twisting the words, twisting how his eyes brighten when he sees you, looking away when he realizes you’re spinning.
8. (I like the imagery in this one.)
I don’t know how to [tell] you that I never loved you even that weekend at the beach when we never saw the sun, but the moon and pulled closed linen curtains, floating in our moans.
So… Post-It Note Poems. If you want to send me your own Post-It Note Poems, let me know in the comments and I can post them in a follow up.