Think I’ll write a poem.

September 23, 2018 § 3 Comments

You can tell it’s

a poem

by how it



Even if it doesn’t rhyme—

poems don’t rhyme

all the time.

Verse is terse.

And imagistic.


Leafless trees are

gaunt old men standing

homeless in the snow.


Tomorrow is a page


–or better yet,

a page unturned.


They’re harder than they look,


A novel is easier,

sort of.

A novel takes long, long

to write

but the materials at hand?



A poem’s materials?

Just as bounteous,

but the poet can only choose

a few.


A novelist samples everything

on the buffet.

The poet,

like a picky eater,

tastes a little of

this and that—

then spits

most back out.


Novels run the risk of




Poems can seem pompous,



for insiders only.


So much depends on

A red wheel barrow…

Tell me,

Exactly what depends on

A red wheel barrow?

And yet,

it works.


A good poem braces,

like a cool wind.

Or stuns like lightning from


Or reshapes the known world in

A few short lines.


Unless epic,

they are short.

And if they ride a melody,



Anyone can write a poem.

Even me,

this morning before the

sun comes up.

Not a great poem but then,

I’m not a poet

I’m a



I sample everything

on the buffet.


And spit little



Note: Here, in its entirety, is The Red Wheel Barrow, written by William Carlos Williams, a bona fide poet:

so much depends



a red wheel



glazed with rain



beside the white


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