They put on a show, Oklahoma style! It was an honor and a privilege
to be part of the Annual Oklahoma Lore Youth Poetry Contest Readings at
Southern Nazarene University in Bethany recently. It was a lot of fun, too. It
is always great to get the chance to brag a little about this unique state of
Why is it that more astronauts have come from Oklahoma than from any other state? How is it that one of our most beloved Americans, Will Rogers, was from here? Many of the pioneers of early aviation, including Wiley Post, also called Oklahoma home. Is it something in the water? Maybe, merely fate? I think there really is an “Oklahoma difference” – a feeling of can do a belief in the power of hard work and dedication. Oklahomans have never been afraid to dream – to imagine a new product, or service, or even a new world. That belief is a powerful tool for personal growth, and for a better tomorrow for all of us.
It was a thrill to hear the result of imagination loosed as the youngsters shared their poems of redbuds, buffaloes, collared lizards and more. At a time when our nation is experiencing an educational crisis, it was encouraging to perceive the gentle hand of guidance that nurtured each unique piece of writing. This is indeed, teaching as it should be! I would encourage anyone who gets the chance to attend next year’s performance to do so. You will see a cross section of students that will inspire you.
Their creativity and effort will certainly negate much of the media negativity about the youth of today.
Keep writing, kids! Keep dreaming, imagining, and working toward that better world. After all, it won’t be long before you’ll be running it. A special thanks to all the winners. I really enjoyed it, although I must admit that “Bullfrog, Bullfrog” stole my heart!
Eddie Wilcoxen, Oklahoma Poet Laureate