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Madison studio art and graphic design major Jazminia Griffith has been writing poetry since high school. During her sophomore year at Madison, after completing a series of "not so happy" poems, she decided to concentrate on the thoughts and memories that made her smile and share them with others. Her Ode to Happiness was the result. Later, while interning for Essence Communications, she received the suggestion to submit her ode to the magazine's poetry editor. Jazminia was too shy to follow through on the suggestion. But she didn't have to -- the poetry editor came to Jazminia, asking to see her work. By summer's end, Jazminia was informed that Essence wanted to commission three of her poems; the first one debuted in the magazine's October 2005 issue. For Jazminia, who read Essence as a little girl, it was the proverbial dream come true and an impetus for further creation. She plans on publishing a compilation of her work sometime in her future.
"I like that poetry is open for interpretation. Of course there is the initial understanding or purpose, but as one explores the use of words, the poem can be made personal by anyone who reads it."