I Am Poet First

Angolo Letterario

Anna Panunto è una scrittrice canadese di origine italiana. È nata e vive a Montreal, Quebec. Anna scrive in tre lingue, italiano, inglese e francese. Ha una laurea Bachelor of Arts e un Master of Education conseguite a McGill University e ha insegnato per 22 anni. Insegna attualmente a EMSB ed è lettrice a Mcgill University. Anna è una poetessa, una scrittrice freelance e ha pubblicato poesia, racconti, articoli, e una commedia radiofonica in molte riviste letterarie e accademiche.

by Anna Panunto

A Canadian teacher with 22 years of teaching experience. A teacher of the English language in a multicultural city called Montreal. A teacher of adults – adults of varying age-groups. A multicultural class – students coming from all over the globe.

I am a proud Canadian. Yet, a Canadian of Italian origin. I am fiercely proud of my bicultural identity. It follows me everywhere, especially in the classroom.

I am a poet who leaves imprints everywhere she goes – even in her sleep. My origin is the Creator. My language is universal. My soul is the immaterial me – invisible to some.

Countless students over the years have asked me – am I a teacher or poet first? As a poet, I love words for their color, texture, sound, weight, and most of all, for their sensuous impact. Words resonate and vibrate my being.

Over the decades, the mechanics behind my poetic verses have been refined. Metaphors and imageries are no longer just beautiful in its aesthetic form. A lost euphoria – claiming new realities

The naiveté of her 20’s, the coming into her own of her 30’s, the wisdom of her 40’s, and the emergence of an authentic self of her early 50’s.

Getting others to identify with a single word, a phrase or even a full verse thrills me to no end. The collective enriches the creative journey. It paints my soul with vibrant colors that are indescribable to my human eyes.

Some can identify with the heaviness of some verses, while others find that same heaviness unnerving and stark. That is fine and no judgement is ever passed.

Fellow poets have compared my poetry to electric shocks running through their bodies, unexpectedly even obtrusively. I am no longer apologetic. It is only a greeting from one soul to the next.

So, who am I ? A self- proclaimed existentialist with a touch of steel arrogance and a dash of dark sarcasm.

So, is being a poet an actual identity – what does it truly mean ? A poet of multiple confessions that aims to clarify the enigma of my heart. I understand the multi-faceted perceptions of he, she, and they- speaking multiple languages on foreign land. We are united temporarily through the poetic word. I am reborn countless times,

That existentialist voice bringing forth meaning- peeling off layers of oppression, suppression and repression of the yesterdays.

As a teacher , I acknowledge that both words and silence have power. Words flow or fragment. Words have an impact. In the class, words form the collective. Let us make our differences our commonalities – that is my dream.

I capture moments that others have forgotten and resurrect those moments without anyone’s permission. Altruism is a selfish act. I am selfish.

Which language does my poetic voice speak anyway? There are multiple voices coming from my ancestors – the original homeland resonates within me even if I am not physically there. I travel in my dreams to a place unbeknownst to me. It is not Canada nor Italy… my ubiquitous influence of past, present and future has no country of origin.

A drop or two of ancestral blood blessing my verses

Flowing through a soul language ….

I am an ancient flower with spoon shaped petals…

Yet, always a poet first.

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