Poem: The crafting of a new rhythm

13th May 2022

The crafting of a new rhythm

By Nicole Arno

Do you view the non-fluency as incongruence?
Are my answers simply
Stu-stu-stuck in the past
Subjects pass in conversation and you laugh
Because I still 'dwell' on them
Forced to ponder — take time with my words
Speech is an art;
An art that
I'm blessed with the ability to understand how to craft —
Blessed to have the patience to perfect it —
Years of denying the beauty of my flair
Listening to impatient voices of those finishing my words
Yet not doing so with such artful taste — selecting the wrong ones
Their rush affects my own unique break of iambic flow
I once read in a book that
To put a twist on the Italian Sonnet
Iambic pentameter turned into tetrameter
Everyone hated it at first
Their ears were not attune
But as I get to the end of this poem
I invite you to consider:
Those of us with stammers are simply creating a new form of art
An act of rebellion
A proud denial to conformity and unnatural rhythms —
Refusal to rush
Refusal to flow
Refusal even to slow
I hope your ears are now attuned.

About the poem

Nicole says, "I wrote this poem about the experience of having a stammer, people's misconceptions and attitudes, and coming to terms with and accepting stammering. Although I do not have personal experience with stammering, I have a friend who does and she always openly shares her experiences with me. I wrote this poem based on what she told me".

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Two women in running outfits holding flags and looking at the camera
Tayo & Bhupinder
A speaker on stage at STAMMAFest 2023

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