~posted by Library Staff
Let’s get down to business, the business of beginning to enter the poem. It will cost you, you know, time and more time that you can imagine. But, if you allow yourself the journey, if you permit the path to form then may you, traveler, travel on, On Poetry.
There is World Enough & Time enough to begin. All you have to do is to feel for The Poem’s Heartbeat. This is how you come to learn The Art of the Poetic Line, come to find the Next Word, Better Word. Some people say that they have been Saved by a Poem. Maybe, in the end, all you learn is How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry.
Whatever the notion, it is time to begin the Madness, Rack and Honey of words, join the chorus in the Singing School and stand by your stanzas. The Ocean, the Bird and the Scholar promise to teach you The Art of Daring: Risk, Restlessness, Imagination. They are waiting by the gate anxious to be let in. Are you afraid they’ll ask Where Have You Been? What has kept you from The Triggering Town and those Twenty Poems that Could Save America?
This is none other than The Rag-Picker’s Guide to Poetry: Poems, Poets, Process. Try it, look through Ten Windows. Make sure each one is 12 x 12 then come up with 101 Two-Letter Words, enough to fill a Poetry Notebook. Ok, I jest. I just want to be sure that you’re awake to the word, that you’re aware of Sharp’s Dictionary of Power and Struggle. Writing is hard. There’s no other way around it. In order to invest your Writing with Emotion, Tension & Conflict you must meet Poetry in Person and that person can only be that part of you that thrivesOn Poetic Imagination and Reverie. A poem is A Muse and A Maze, a friend and a forest. Somehow, we come through the other side, reconfigured and transfigured. Go we must, not forward, but back into a voiceless beginning. That is where the first tentative step is taken, where a listening word anchors to its utterance.
There’s nothing like the contents of a page to get a mind turning this way and that with ideas. Every poet must go into a fray of footed fonts to find each precise and necessary word the journey requires. Fortunately, inspiration and information abounds. I offer this final clue. It is what every writer of every ilk knows to be true. First We Read, Then We Write.