The Creation of a Poet

Sometimes I want to use small words
and make them important           Mary Oliver

listen to the everyday cadence

birds calling you’re a thief

you’re a thief don’t believe them

Robert Bly’s Raven Hiding in a Shoe

“Ravens at night hide in an old woman’s shoe

A four-year old speaks some ancient language

We have lived our own death a thousand times.”

look at the people going somewhere

that is a common factor

that and death from Kenneth Fearing’s Dirge

“And wow he died as wow he lived,

going whop to the office and blooie home to sleep and

biff got married and bam had children and oof got fired

zowie did he live and zowie did he die”

study other poets

you can find your own voice hearing the voice of others

Pablo Neruda XXVIII

“My poem happened

for you, for nobody,

for everyone.”

“Sucedio mi poema

para tu, para Nadine,

para todos.”

translate someone even if you do not know the language

you will learn as you go

Basho translated by Robert Hass

“A bee

staggers out

of the peony”

go out of the country and write in your native language

while surrounded by another language

it gives new perspective on your own words

helps you choose your words and disrupts

your cultural bias

go into a poem with all your senses

immerse yourself

Ishmael Reed

“this poem is the reader & the

reader this poem”

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The Creation of a Poet

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