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.
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