Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Midweek Motif: The Joy of Poetry

"Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance."
Carl Sandburg

"A poet is a nightingale,
who sits in darkness and sings
to cheer its own solitude
with sweet sounds."
Percy Bysshe Shelley

"We write to taste life twice,
in the moment, and in retrospect."
Anais Nin

"A poet doesn't write because she has a solution.
She writes because she has hope."
Hannah Gosselin

Midweek Motif : The Joy of Poetry

Why do we write poems? What do we love about writing them? What keeps us writing? What do we hope for, when we pen our poems?

Our challenge: to write about poetry, 
any facet of it that appeals 
to your imagination. 
I offer two examples, for your inspiration.

Poetry by Pablo Neruda

    And it was at that age ... Poetry arrived
    in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where
    it came from, from winter or a river.
    I don't know how or when,
    no, they were not voices, they were not
    words, nor silence,
    but from a street I was summoned,
    from the branches of night,
    abruptly from others,
    among violent fires
    or returning alone,
    there I was without a face
    and it touched me.

    I did not know what to say, my mouth
    had no way
    with names,
    my eyes were blind,
    and something started in my soul,
    fever or forgotten wings,
    and I made my own way,
    that fire,
    and I wrote the first faint line,
    faint, without substance, pure
    pure wisdom
    of someone who knows nothing,
    and suddenly I saw
    the heavens
    and open,
    palpitating plantations,
    shadow perforated,
    with arrows, fire and flowers,
    the winding night, the universe.

    And I, infinitesimal being,
    drunk with the great starry
    likeness, image of
    for myself a pure part of the abyss,
    I wheeled with the stars,
    my heart broke loose on the wind.

    (Translated from the Spanish by Alastair Reid)

I came across this other cool statement about poetry just the other day. Ms Alexander is currently the chair of African American studies at Yale. You can find out more about this highly accomplished poet here, and here, if you wish. She has written a memoir called The Light of the World, which looks very intriguing, about the sudden death of her husband. She says while it begins with what looks like a catastrophe, it is a love story. My kind of book! I love her voice in this poem.

Ars Poetica #100: I Believe

Poetry, I tell my students,
is idiosyncratic. Poetry
is where we are ourselves
(though Sterling Brown said
“Every ‘I’ is a dramatic ‘I'”),
digging in the clam flats
for the shell that snaps,
emptying the proverbial pocketbook.
Poetry is what you find
in the dirt in the corner,
overhear on the bus, God
in the details, the only way
to get from here to there.
Poetry (and now my voice is rising)
is not all love, love, love,
and I’m sorry the dog died.
Poetry (here I hear myself loudest)
is the human voice,
and are we not of interest to each other?

            - Elizabeth Alexander

Please share your poem using Mr. Linky below 
and visit others in the spirit of the community.   

(Next week Sherry's Midweek Motif will be Watershed Moments)


  1. Hello everyone,

    Wooo hooooo do I have news for you! It gives me great pleasure to announce that this poem "The joy of poetry" is the 100th poem on the blog! Planning to publish a book soon :D

    Thank you so much Sherry for this awesome prompt :D

    Lots of love,

    1. Congratulations Sanaa...looking forward to see many more hundreds & my best wishes for your book :)

    2. Woot. Nice job Sanaa.
      So were you writing poetry before you were posting it? or is this really your 100th poem? Cause the way you do form poetry, if this is only your 100th poem - I may hang up my pen. Ha

    3. Lol that was so sweet of you.. well yes this is my 100th.. had only posted a couple of poems on the blog when I found Poets United.. :D and the journey has been endless ever since.

    4. Wow, you write so well - your first hundred poems are amazing. Looking forward to many more!!!

    5. Thank you Sherry :D I m soo excited :D

    6. Congratulations on your 100th poem, Sanaa. I am so happy you are posting it HERE.

    7. Thank you so much :D yes me too!!

  2. For lovers of poetry everywhere, this is an excellent read:

    Tonight I Am in Love by Dorianne Laux. It begins:

    Tonight, I am in love with poetry,
    with the good words that saved me,
    with the men and women who
    uncapped their pens and laid the ink
    on the blank canvas of the page.

    1. This is absolutely perfect. Thanks so much!!!!!!!

  3. Thank you for a happy moment in the week - I am still in hospital so apologies if I can't get back to you..thank you in advance for visits and normal service should be resumed anon

    1. Wishing you the speediest of recoveries.. miss you Jae..

    2. So nice to see you, Jae. Soon you will be home again.........take good care , rest well.

    3. Jae... I do hope you will be out of the hospital soon!

  4. My school is in an active lock down. I will be late getting around.

    1. i hope it's just a drill?!

    2. Be safe heard about the (local) shooting ;(

    3. OMG, stay safe, friend. How sad and scary. Do what you must to get home safely to your kids tonight. Please.

    4. Wondered if you were near!

    5. 10 minutes from the school. Exhausting day

  5. Congrats Sanaa, and thanks Sherry for a most stimulating prompt
    A lovely Wednesday to everyone

    much love...

    1. Thanks Gillena :D Happy Wednesday to you too :D

  6. Such a lovely prompt, Sherry and many many congratulations, Sanaa :)

  7. I enjoyed writing for this prompt Sherry....Thanks 1

  8. Nice one, Sherry. Good wishes to everyone.

  9. Oh my goodness, I'm late to my own party. Here it is ten o'clock. I am having a very slow morning. Getting ready to dive in!!!!! Yay!

  10. Love the quotes and the poetry...I will give it a shot. Thanks.

  11. Am happy you like the prompt, kids. I'm looking forward to reading your responses.

  12. A place of some of my most favourite joyful memories.

  13. Not sure if my first comment got through (I'm new to this). I posted an old poem called Spinning Seed. It is about inspiration. Thanks! Rob

    1. Nice to see you, Rob, and I enjoyed your poem very much.

  14. Hours. I spent hours and what I sqeezed from the muse is minuscule. But, I love the prompt and didn't want to miss out. Can you believe it? I'm suffering from FOMO, fear of missing out.

  15. Good prompt, Sherry! So nice to see so many people. I will be back a bit later to return comments!

  16. beautiful prompt, beautiful poetry. what a nice way to start my day. gracias Sherry, mi amiga. happy hump day everyone

  17. Sherry,

    Thank you for this gift of a prompt; something joyful and easy to consider! I've been on holiday in France and Switzerland and returned to the usual post vacation tidying etc. Slowly reviving my muse as well.

    1. Hope you had a great vacation, Eileen! I had wondered where you were. Good to see you back.

  18. Thank you, Sherry! I will return to read more soon...I appreciate the inspiration and the inclusion of my quote!

  19. Popping back through to catch up
    with those that are reading.

    Much better day today @ school.

  20. I'm a bit under the weather, but I'll be around to visit as soon as I can.

  21. I couldn't find Mr. Linky listed, so you can read mine on:

  22. What a lovely busy midweek we had. Thanks to each and every one of you. X, I am glad today went better for you. I am mind boggled by this type of event. so senseless, so tragic.


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