Poetry Poetry Friday

[Poetry Friday] “How to Fight” by Clint Smith

poetry friday

Fats here.

My Poetry Friday offering focuses on the power of words. I discovered Clint Smith’s poem while browsing poems about resistance online. His poem, How to Fight, was featured in a post published by Book Riot entitled, 5 Poems of Protest (Plus 10 to Read Later). Check out the link when you have the time!

Poetry Friday round-up is hosted this week by Kat at Kathryn Apel!



My favorite part of class
was always the spelling bee.
One by one children would
slip on syllables until there
were only a few of us left.

We weren’t allowed to write
anything down as we stood
in front of the class, so I used
my fingers to trace an outline
in the air of words Mrs. Roberts
read from her blue dictionary.

We didn’t say certain words in
my home because we were told
they could hurt people,
but words were the only
way I ever knew how to fight.

Spelling bees were a battleground
where teachers trained me
to wield language as a
tool & fist & weapon & warning
to those who would rather
make an outline out of me.


Fats is the Assistant Manager for Circulation Services at the Wayne County Public Library in Wooster, Ohio. She considers herself a reader of all sorts, although she needs to work on her non-fiction reading. Fats likes a good mystery but is not too fond of thrillers. She takes book hoarding seriously and enjoys collecting bookmarks and tote bags. When she is not reading, Fats likes to shop pet apparel for her cat Penny (who absolutely loathes it).

1 comment on “[Poetry Friday] “How to Fight” by Clint Smith

  1. That is a great poem – it really strikes a chord with me. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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