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Wednesday, 9 November 2011

As Dante would have done.

Here's a dream to dream sometime
when you are looking for a dream to dream.

You are a sculptor who sculpts words,
then builds them into poems.
You're making ready your next book,
one hundred pages long. The title
poem is the only one. It takes up
pages two and three, but fills the book.

How does a two-page poem fill a book?
Well, that's the sort of poem that you write.
Recall: you'll be composing it in dream;
that being so, each word, each line will share
the mythic power to which a dream is heir.

Your poem will have all the subtle powers
that Coleridge's poem Kubla Khan
would have possessed had he but scratched it down
before the man from Porlock came along.

Set your sleeping mind against all rhetoric.
Hard, stony consonants like Dante used
are what you should be carving from your rock.
Their weight and influence will fill the book -
would fill a shelf of books of empty pages.

Waking, lose no time in setting down;
be sure to transcribe word for word -
no editing, redrafting as you go.
Change not a jot or tittle from the dream.

Then when the work is done,
turn to any empty page
and find the poem still engaging you.

19 comments:

Elisabeth said...

Dreams to me are the stuff of poetry. You write them down Dave and promptly forget them until years later when you read them again and wonder about what mind could dream such things.

An evocative poem, as ever. Thanks, Dave.

Tabor said...

Good poems are like that. They hang on the blank page with sterling images that refuse to leave and which you turn over in your mind like a hologram.

haricot said...

I believe in the power of rock, Dave.

tinkwelborn said...

Nice write Dave...very interesting. now, how does one handle the old QWERTY loss on modern-day keyboards, and the words are filled with 'tittle' as you put it. Oh, yeah, and lots of backspaces.

Thanks for the read. I truly enjoyed it.

thingy said...

A terrific write, Dave. : )

Rose said...

Facinating! - dreams are always on fast forward, between split seconds there could be a fabulous poem. I do have quite a few poems still engaging me :D Wonderful!

ArtistUnplugged said...

Pardon this....but your poetry is dreamy! I can see the parallels of dreams and poetry, both to be interpreted differently.

Brian Miller said...

nice...dreams and poetry go well together...it is fun to go back and look at my previous work...as it is to remember a dream...dream on poet...

Other Mary said...

So glad you remember your dreams. You have built yourself quite a distinguished statue of words here in your blog. Hmmm...mixing my metaphors too much here, but basically I liked your poem :o)

The Weaver of Grass said...

This sounds to me like the stuff of nightmares Dave

Mama Zen said...

This just carried me along. Wonderful write!

Windsmoke. said...

Flowed along nicely :-).

Mary said...

Poems that are composed 'in dream' definitely should not be changed! They come from a special place.

Tariq Mian said...

poetry is a fascinating world of dreams where you can write an ocean in few words.
Hi Dave, this is tariq mian; have joined your beautiful blog.
You may visit me as a welcome guest of coarse.

Myeika said...

This was very good..the poem was very interesting.

sunny said...

Hi Mr Dave,lovelly poetry.

Jenny Woolf said...

That is the kind of thing that all creative people wish could be true - that everything you do has a huge resonance. Just as well we can do it in dreams sometimes :)

Dave King said...

Elisabeth
In the main I agree, but as a child I had such vivid and disturbing dreams that I can remember them now as vividly as then.

Thanks for the comment.

Tabor
Great simile. Yes, exactly like a hologram.

haricot
Absolutely!

tinkwelborn
Hi, welcome to the blog. Good to have you visiting. And thanks for the response.
Bit of a stumper, that one. I'll give it some thought.

thingy
Thank you very much.

Rose
That is right. I like your thought: between split seconds. A poem often does come exactly like that: between split seconds. Not the kines, of course. Not even the outline, but an aura. Very difficult to hold on to and quickly gone.

ArtistUnplugged
Nothing to pardon. Thank you for an insightful comment.

Brian
Thanks for that. A dream can be manna from heaven for a poet.

Other Mary
A mixed metaphor, but a lovely one. Thank you for it, I don't at all mind it being mixed!

The Weaver of Grass
One has to take the rough with the smooth...

Mama Zen
Thank you. Much appreciated.

Windsmoke
Thanks a lot.

Mary
Exctly so, the do indeed.

Tariq Mian
Hi Tariq. Good to have your company and thanks for stopping by to comment. I shall indeed be along to visit you.
"An ocean in a few words" puts it beautifully.

Myeika
A warm welcome to you, and many thanks for the comment.

sunny
Thanks again. Really good to hear from you.

Jenny
That is a very true - and I think important - thought. Thank you.

Cait O'Connor said...

Love this.