"Genuine poetry can communicate before it can be understood."
--- T.S. Eliot
I am a reader of poetry. Always have been. I collect poems. I seek out new poets. I keep my poetry books on a special shelf in my library. They are the words I go to when there are no words.
But when I tell other people that, they tend to look at me funny. Like . . . poetry? Really? And so I don't always tell people.
For me, though, there is power in poetry. Big magic. Even before we understand it.
ARS POETICA #100: I BELIEVE
by Elizabeth Alexander
Poetry, I tell my students,
is idiosyncratic. Poetry
is where we are ourselves
(though Sterling Brown said
“Every ‘I’ is a dramatic ‘I'”),
digging in the clam flats
for the shell that snaps,
emptying the proverbial pocketbook.
Poetry is what you find
in the dirt in the corner,
overhear on the bus, God
in the details, the only way
to get from here to there.
Poetry (and now my voice is rising)
is not all love, love, love,
and I’m sorry the dog died.
Poetry (here I hear myself loudest)
and are we not of interest to each other?
Learn more about the poet Elizabeth Alexander and her work here
And remember, next Thursday - April 26, is Poem in Your Pocket
day. Carry a poem in YOUR pocket that day. Share it with someone else. And maybe join me in posting it on your blog.