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Saturday, 1 October 2011

Plan B : On Writing Poems

I decided to introduce a plan B and hold over until tomorrow the promised poem on the second teacher, the reason being the suggestion from dVerse Poets that we should break all the rules and do what is never done in the best circles (and which of us could refuse an invitation like that?) and write a poem on poetry.

Words, originated
in the main for commerce
or converse over fences:
can they be crafted,
forged or hammered
to new purpose to express
the eeriness of life
and all creation?

Or could we build a whatnot
from a pile of kindling wood? (The tasks
are not a million miles apart.)

Yet we are pledged to try,
from meagre scraps of words,
to craft a furniture of thought,
for we are poets who believe
that words at times work miracles -
or call them forth,
we know not how. It's on a par
for mystery with the Big Bang:
the fashioning from nothing
(almost) of the all.

And that would be enough for most
if that were all, but when we add
that nix begat infinity, almost
our vision fades. We are perplexed.
So shall we versify perplexity?
And how should that be done?
Can craft alone atone
for loss of visionary heights?

Words on their own, I find
solve fewer mysteries
than they create.
Great poems excavate
the very depths of what we call
the self - the source
of what is most mysterious.

And can the grains and streams of words,
can rays they shine upon the riddles
be set by us in the right order,
be set to replicate
the world that Nature crafts,
the genius of their genesis?


Cloudia said...

the opening lines took my breath away. so solid, balanced, inevitable, unique - all at the same time. the best definition of poetry I've read in recent memory, Dave

Aloha from Waikiki;

Comfort Spiral

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Isabel Doyle said...

A fine exposition on the craft of the craft of the craft.

Interestingly, your word below is 'prompt'.

Christine said...

You reach into the mystery of one's self delicately but directly.

sunny said...

Hi Mr Dave,beautifully explained each and every thing,i must say, i m lucky that i have a teacher like you on the blog,keep it up.

Jim Murdoch said...

I'll never understand what people have against poems about poetry. The nature of poetry is a fascinating subject and I've written many. This is a good one. I keep wanting to add a 'to' before 'converse' though. Best sentence? "And could we build a whatnot / from a pile of kindling wood?" I also like "furniture of thought" very much.

Mary said...

I agree that great poems excavate the very depths of what we call the self. And what may be great to one person may not be great to another. But each person can find themselves in poems they read AND in poems that they write.

Brian Miller said...

very cool david...craft a furniture of thought...great turn of phrase....and words do work miracles for sure...well crafted and enjoyed...

seasideauthor said...

I liked the mystery, words always create a mystery. It depends on who is reading? Well written piece
and I like it when we can break
away sometimes.
late...my middle name...sometimes...

Windsmoke. said...

The third stanza says it all for me :-).

Gerry Snape said...

I love the line...or could we build a whatnot from a pile of kindling wood....brilliant...I want to have written that ...so good!!

Carl said...

Great as always. The illusion between words and ideas or what they magically combine to form new ideas. Much like music and painting really.

Dave King said...

Wow, much thanks for that! Don't think I could get higher praise than that. Much appreciated.

I like it, Ilike it! And the "prompt" as well. Thank you.

Which is what we all try to do, I guess, when we write. Thanks for saying so.

You should never be short of good teachers on the blog, my friend. They are legion. Thanks for your response.

I've never quite made up my mnd about this one. Poetry on poetry and novels about novels, sometimes it seems a bit claustrophobic, some even say incestuous, I believe - except that I had not realised there was an actual prohibition. At other times itseems fair game, and yes, I too have written such poems before.

I understand about 'converse'. It's a verb of course, and would normally take 'to' before it, but here I was trying it out as a noun.

I am cheered that you picked out my two best liked phrases.

Yes indeed, well said. One of the joys of literature is the finding of the self - or part of it.

Many thanks for this valued piece of feedback. It is always good to know the thoughts of others about my posts.

Yes, I think perhaps there's always a mystery if you look hard enough. Some are well hidden.

Useful bit of info'. Thank you for it.

Thanks very much Gerry. You couldn't have said a more satisfying thing!

Yes, I agree, it is very much like music or painting. Any creative endeavour, in fact. Dance, photography and many more. You've set my mind adrift again! Much obliged!