Saturday, September 09, 2006


I think I am a poet. A poet is supposed to write poems. Poems come to you. When you are not doing anything. Between waking and sleeping. They already sing. They only need some shaping up to modify them to literary rule. Non poets want rules, initially. But then they shrug, "A am not a poet", they say. And forgive you your poetic license.

When poems don't come, where are they? I can't find any, right now. Forcing poems don't work for me. They don't sing. You may as well call them prose. Line breaks or not. Now writing proze is OK. You don't need to be a stick in the mud. Nothing wrong with stories. Although it helps if they too have music in them. They read so much better. Some prose reads/sounds like poetry. Maybe stories was the wrong word to use. Poems are stories too.

Labouring over a poem never works for me. There's got to be spontaneity. The more you work on it, the denser it gets. I prefer poems that dance like butterflies in the sun. Are all my poems like that? Of course not! My butterfly soul has the capacity to sink like a millstone.

Maybe life doesn't work without poetry. Maybe poetry and magic are interchangeable words. Dream words. Is life easier with poetry in it? Is it easy to maintain the magic? Is it easy to explain/maintain dreams? The word maintain doesn't even belong.

There are poems. There are non poems. Poetry lives.

I am outside story. I am outside poem. Today I am a non poem. Waiting for poetry. Waiting for magic. Want to dream.

wild thing feeling tame.


Anonymous said...

I believe that schoolteachers had good intentions. Well meaning grade school teachers teaching us to dissect poetry as if we were in some biology class.

The magic lost. No one is to blame really.

Just maybe a different approach would have been more effective.

You can’t teach poetry. But you can provide opportunities for inspiration. You can encourage and guide…

So we left grade school bewildered about poetry rather than enchanted.

There is a poem “On My Way” that speaks to me almost everyday of my life. “Your home is in my heart.”

Anonymous said...

I have never been taught poetry. Maybe that is a blessing. When I was in "English for new Canadians" classes, my teacher wanted me to do a grade 13 class, rather than the twelve I was in. I tried. They were hammering poetry to death. All rules and systems, excact. I fled. Back to twelve. Maybe I shouldn't have. I ever did the same in an art class. It was all mathematics. I do believe now that there is merrit in studying classics. I have come to hear that the best rock musicians are the ones that have studied classical music.

I had one teacher who had that insight. In his English class He stressed grammar as a not to get away from essential. But he got it all over with in the beginning, so you had that basis. Then he urged you to set your spirit free.

Poetry is not a poem. Poetry is what makes life sing. Poetry is in the grace of a heron. You may detect it in just one single flower...

It may even be in a true to life fight...

Our poems and writing and songs and paintings and sculptures are all attempts to bring out that beauty. If the emphasis is on only technique, we fail.

Oh, and Larry, I did listen to Magic Carpet Ride, and Born to be Wild tuned in to the organ part. I could detect it. But it is an old Best of Album I have, and a really old record player... the sound is not great. I don't get the full benefit of muscial delicacies. For dovetalewriters who wonder where that comes from, it was discussed in Larry's Mental blog.

Anonymous said...

Wild Thing herself is a poem. So no need to fret, wt, about the poems that hide in the shadows for the moment. Shadows are yin, the moon, the mist, the hidden...

Poetry happens, yes, yes, but sometimes it is good old fashion hard slogging that makes the "happening." And then, there is the Buddhist school of poetry. Breathe in, breathe out.

So, Shakin, where did you come up with that poem? Is it a song? I don't think I've heard it from you before....

Anonymous said...

It is poem in the Grand Table Anthology. Wild Thing would know it well.