Welcome to April, one of my favorite months of the year for many reasons— Spring, a month closer to summer, my birthday… More than that though, the month of April means a lot of things to a lot of people, including National Poetry Month, Autism Awareness Month, and for all students on the quarter system, it’s the first week in the new quarter.
Since I spend many of my blog posts updating you on life here at Cal Poly, today I’m going to focus on the two other things this month is about: Autism and Poetry. And I am going to combine them both.
Just like every month holds recognition for something different, from last month being Women’s History Month to June coming up as pride month, this one is for Autism Awareness. Autism now affects one in every sixty-eight children in America, on a spectrum as a complex developmental disability. This is considered a spectrum due to the way it affects people differently from one another, each in varying degrees of the disorder. As of 2016, the rates of autism have nearly increased from 2004, from 1 in 125 to 1 in 68. With the increasing rates of those affected, I think it’s important that we all increase our awareness of those with the disorder too.
Why? Well, even though we are supposed to be a nation built on equality and acceptance, we are only beginning to get there now in the 21st century. Things are changing and with each month of appreciation, I am hoping that we can be more attuned to the world around us and the beauty of every person in it.
Even if we do not understand what a person is going through, we can still try to be accepting of who they are.
Considering that this month is both for autism and poetry, I came across a poem on YouTube of spoken word by Verb Kulture called “Carly Finally”. In this poem, the narrator portrays an autistic person trying to live their everyday life, trying to be heard. The way she portrays her character, from her words to her mannerisms, connects to a lot of people including those with autism and those who care for others with ASD. From the words of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
Take a look at this poem and feel the words within it; walk around in the character we see for a few minutes.
From the words of Kulture, we can scratch the surface of understanding the difficulty that many autistic people go through in their daily lives. Forming just one sentence can be a challenge, one that many do not take this time to listen to, not because they don’t want to but oftentimes, because they don’t understand. At a little over a minute into the poem, we hear the words “you can’t understand my language, a barrier between your world and mine…”
It’s like we’re separated between worlds with no connection between the two, no way to find a middle ground.
But that’s the thing about poetry, this spoken word poem, and about art as a whole— it connects us all no matter what disorders may plague us or the issues that we feel define us. Through art we can reach the ultimate understanding of one another not just through our own eyes, but theirs too.
This is the month of April, in which we celebrate Autism Awareness, Poetry, and so much more. For the rest of the month, I will post a poem on Poetry Place in my own celebration of the written word and appreciation for my new writing as well. Today I shared with you Carly Finally, a spoken word poem by Verb Kulture to hopefully give you a chance to see a new perspective. If you haven’t yet, take a look at the poem here (click that link) and have a wonderful, possibly rainy, Friday.
And I can’t wait to share this month of poetry with you.