Perhaps I AM That!

by Valerie Jean


Perhaps I am that crazy

girl who has dreams she can fly.

I want to fly, eyes opened

swinging low, like chariots.

Swinging low, sweet chariots

rising up – rainbow beauties!

Perhaps I am that crazy


rising – a rainbow beauty

whose mothers sing in honor.

Mothers sing in her honor.

Her Fathers see through her eyes

Her Fathers see through her.  Eyes

golden gardens sparkling bright –

She opens like a rainbow


over gardens, sparkling light –

absorbing sun, she spreads it!

I want to swallow the sun,

to sprinkle ambrosia smells.

Sprinkles of ambrosia smells

like Creator/God or Source.

Golden gardens, shiny light:


God /Creator/Power/Source

reflects inside her.  Divine

reflections shimmer in me,

hungry for that promised peace.

Bring the peace which was promised!

Make colorful angels breathe,

God/Power/Creator Source!


Kaleidoscope of angels

dance wildly in her mirrors,

like I dance in mirrors wild

as I spiral towards sky,

spiraling up to heaven.

Children can feast on her steps.

Angelic kaleidoscope


in the water:  God’s children

standing up, graceful and free!

Swooping down free and grateful

they follow wisdom’s current.

I want to swim in wisdom.

Perhaps I am that crazy;

In my mirrors, I see god!


Perhaps I am that crazy.

Perhaps I am that: crazy!

Perhaps, I am that crazy

perhaps?  I am that?  Crazy?

Perhaps I am.  I am that

crazy.  Perhaps I am that

I am, perhaps that I am.



Poetry Critique:  Perhaps I AM That! by Valerie Jean



Valerie, I like how your poem questions whether the narrator is a “crazy girl” while at the same time we recognize  “crazy” to be good, to be positive and not “crazy” at all, but a word suggesting imaginative, creative, “angelic,” and “divine.”  The “crazy girl” is to be honored by her mother; crazy is an honorable quality.


Other words/images I like are “ambrosia,” “kaleidoscope,” and “angels.”


I also like how you refer to the song, Swing Low Sweet Chariot and suggest you use actual words from the song, in italics, such as the verse:


Sometimes I’m up, and sometimes I’m down,
(Coming for to carry me home)
But still my soul feels heavenly bound.
(Coming for to carry me home)


[see info,_Sweet_Chariot]


Perhaps use lines from the song intermittently throughout the poem.  In the song we get the contradiction of swinging low, yet “heavenly bound”/similar to how you use “spiral towards the sky.”


I would like you to experiment with the title.  Write down at least a dozen possible titles and see where that leads you.  What title most draws the reader into the poem?  Although your focus seems to be the “crazy girl” –is it really?  Often what we think is the subject is only what gets us to the real subject.  Could the title be Kaleidoscope or Reflection or The Angel in the Mirror or Ambrosia or…..?  I also like titles that flow into the poem. For instance:


Perhaps I am that crazy

girl who dreams she can fly


Other suggestions:  1) delete the last verse.  Although it brings us full circle, can it be said with more confidence and with imagery? 2) can you delete “smells” after the word “ambrosia”? 3) Can you choose between “God/Creator/Power/Source”-use one word that says what you want to say or open it up? *4) who are the “Mothers” and “Fathers”?  Why plural? 5) There is the “I” in the beginning of the poem, then later “She” and “they”–are they the same person?  Be clear with pronouns.



*check out how Lucille Cifton wrote in the message from The Ones:  place here / the name / you give / to god / is love / is light/ is / here the name / you give / to / yes


If I were to condense this poem, to show some of what I have suggested,  it would, on a first unedited draft, look something like this:



Kaleidoscope of Angels Dancing in Mirrors

Perhaps I am that crazy

girl who dreams

she can fly


swing low sweet chariot

kaleidoscope of angels

dance wildly in my mirrors


Sometimes I’m up, and sometimes I’m down,


I want to swallow the sun, taste

ambrosia, hungry for peace

shimmer and spread love

like a rainbow

But still my soul feels heavenly bound

I spiral towards the sky, God’s child

honoring the mothers and the fathers

the wise angels beckoning me

to their garden


(Coming for to carry me home)



But this is your poem, Valerie, and yours is a lovely poem.  It has depth and beauty.  I only hope my suggestions will give you some ideas to make it even more beautiful.  Have fun with it, experiment with words and format.  And, feel free to comment on my comments!


Sherry Quan Lee

April 30, 2011


About Sherry

Author. Poet. Teacher. Mentor. Chinese/Blackbird.

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