Think I’ll write a poem.

September 23, 2018 § 3 Comments

You can tell it’s

a poem

by how it

looks.

*

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

unwritten

–or better yet,

a page unturned.

*

They’re harder than they look,

poems.

A novel is easier,

sort of.

A novel takes long, long

to write

but the materials at hand?

Bounteous!

*

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

long-windedness.

Stupefaction.

*

Poems can seem pompous,

opaque.

Written

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

Olympus.

Or reshapes the known world in

A few short lines.

*

Unless epic,

they are short.

And if they ride a melody,

catchy.

*

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

novelist.

*

I sample everything

on the buffet.

*

And spit little

out.

 

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

so much depends

upon

 

a red wheel

barrow

 

glazed with rain

water

 

beside the white

chickens

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