Monday, August 15, 2016


I love it when poets write poems about poetry itself - how to write it, how to read it, how it makes us feel. This week we offer four such poems for your delectation, by Rajani,  who writes at Thotpurge: Incomplete Thots , De Jackson, at Whimzygizmo's Blog, Matthew Henningsen at The Literary Doc, and Mama Zen, of another damn poetry blog. I am sure you will enjoy these wonderful offerings.

Rajani recently wrote a poem about poetry that knocked my socks off. Let's dive in with both feet and immerse ourselves in her amazing imagery.

How to read a Poem

you read,
head inclined,
closed lips moving as softly as 
new born butterfly wings, 
light and air rearranging themselves 
into a radiant stage for your thoughts,
does that poem, that tongue-tied page,
don a damask gown and ballerina shoes,
declaiming slowly, animated and free,
or do you imagine yourself reading aloud,
covered in the russet tears of weeping chinars,
one outstretched limb at an incongruous angle
to the listening sky,
perhaps there are characters,
like you, like me,
strange faces with familiar eyes,
whose lips do you see,
whose voice do you hear,
laughing, despairing, in love,
is that Faiz walking out through the mist,
or Hafiz, the beloved’s wine still purple wet on his lips,
or the unparalleled Noor Jahan
wooing Jahangir in her Sheesh Mahal,
her hennaed hands the colour
of Agra’s sandstone fort;
you hold your breath,
between the lines, beside the words,
like a raindrop that pauses midstream
to adore the ground that will
break his heart,
like the shore that listens alone
for a single wave,
that never returns,
that never departs,
you hear,
you see,
and everything i ever felt,
everything we ever were,
free-falling through speechless time,
converges at the tip of your forefinger,
waiting for the rain to stop, for the waves to end,
for the music to die, for the curtains to fall,
for the sound, the colours, the henna to fade,
before you turn the page.

-Thotpurge, 2016


  1. Oh, my. I had no idea I was going to be shared alongside such gorgeous brilliance today, Sherry. I freakin' LOVE Rajani, Matthew and Mama Zen's poems. Such a cool balance to unearth the poem, how to let it go, how to read it. You, ma'am, (in addition to being an astounding writer yourself) are a collector of beauty. Thank you for sharing these three, and for honoring me in their presence.

    1. I LOVE that description! Being a collector of beauty is such a happy thing! Thank you. And...I am blushing! Smiles.

  2. Such an enjoyable read of all these fine poems. thanks to you all for sharing them.

  3. I am swooning from these captures, these sensibilities and sensualities capturing and shaping and sending forth ideas. Brilliant. And brilliant collage, Sherry. Thank you.

  4. Whistles!!!! Oh my god this is an absolute treat :D thank you Sherry for featuring these four amazing poets and their poems :D Wow where to start.. um

    Rajani, I love how you describe one reading a poem as I visualize each sentence especially 'You hold your breath, between the lines, beside the words, like a raindrop that pauses midstream' struck me as quite a real and profound image. You write so beautifully!

    De, I just adore the way the words flow so seamlessly when you write your poems and this one was spot on magical! Indeed, a poem births out as inspiration when we are with our friends and loved ones. Especially loved 'a weeping willow shade, a stretching of fingers as important as that of lungs' sigh such an incredible image.

    Matthew, its always a pleasure reading your work as I feel there is alot to learn from you :D your poem reminds me that when we write a poem we basically jot down our feelings and hope that they would reach someone somehow. And that is something that we should always strive for :D

    MZ, I can totally relate to the feeling that you give out in your poem. Sometimes a poem just pops up inside our head, bursting to come out on a page. Especially adore 'I attend on aching knees to the stanza and whisper of the cut grass breeze and sip from a cup filled for me with belonging' sigh.. just gorgeous!

    Feel so blessed to be a part of Poets United. Here's to several more years of writing and sharing poetry :D cheers!

    Lots of love,

    1. Sanaa, you are such a thoughtful reader, and inspiring poet. Thank you!

  5. Sigh. Revisiting these poems is so gloriously pleasurable and satisfying. Thank you to each one of you gifted poets, for allowing me to gather such beauty in one place.

  6. I agree nothing more pleasurable than to read a poem about writing poetry...sigh indeed. Wonderful choices!

  7. I love how you started with the reading of poetry... just how writing starts for me too... Great writing Rajani and then onto De and Matthew (yes we do get those inspired moments, the friendship the way to treat it as a child... and then how all of the sudden you find yourself in the zone like Kelli...

  8. What a wonderful selection - thank you all and Sherry as always - what struck me was the thread of creating..that perhaps more joy and comfort comes in the actual making of words than the finished poem - if a poem is ever really finished.. There is a definite sense of the poem having a heart beat which we tenderly entrust to other readers.. Perhaps the wonderful thing about this space is that extra step of direct communication of taking a risk and entrusting your poem baby to 'us' and seeing what else can be added to the picture... a pleasure to read such unique voices and shining words

  9. Thanks Sherry for allowing me to meet these poets upfront. Actually all four I read their work often

    Much love...

  10. Thank you Sherry for this great feature today! I really appreciate and admire how much work you put into Poets United.

    Thanks as well for these awesome comments... the dedication and talent of all the Poets United authors never cease to amaze me. What a place to be a part of...

    1. It is wonderful, isn't it? Poets United opened the doors of the online poetry world to me and I shall be forever grateful. It is truly my pleasure to give back with these Monday features - and we have such a brilliant talent pool to draw from! Thanks for taking part, Matthew.

  11. Wow, Sherry -- these are among my favorite poets.

    Ranjani, I appreciated your comment that people who read our poems often interpret them in different ways. So true, I think. I know when I read your poetry I always wonder if I am interpreting it as you meant it, but that is part of the enjoyment I find in your poetry.

    De, you are an amazing poet. So talented & so diverse! I have a feeling that after your kids grow up you will write THE book that we will all read. Truly, you are one talented woman. And the poem shared with us today is SO profound.

    Matthew, yes we do send each of our poems on its way. I like thinking about poetry that way. We send each poem on its way and work on another one. It is the cycle of a poet, it seems. EVERY poet. Really a wonderful poem.

    And Kelli, you have a way of writing which is so unique, so special, so 'zen.' You say it like it is - with all the necessary language - and I admire that. Yup, better pony up. Smiles!

    Thanks to each of you for being part of PU!

    1. Mary, your generous comment astounds me, and has made my day. Thank you so much, my friend.

  12. These poems are all fantastic! Each one is an expression of the author's unique spirit. And each one touches me in a different, special way.
    Congratulations Sherry, on selecting just the right poems for this Monday. Thank you.

    1. You are most welcome, my friend! Thanks for reading!

  13. Great features today Sherry! I enjoyed reading all of their poems and the feedback story behind the poems. It gives the reader a bit of insight as to how the poems were birthed.

    Congrats to all and thanks for sharing your art of words. I enjoyed each one.

  14. Sherry, thanks so much for featuring my poem alongside such fine poets. What a pleasure to come back from vacation to this. Many thanks to all at Poets United for their support and encouragement.

    1. And thank you, for your faithful participation, Rajani! We appreciate you! Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

  15. Thank you so much, Sherry, for including me in this fabulous group!

  16. Such a joy to read the beautiful poems! Thank you Sherry! Wonderful, wonderful selection!

  17. Thank you for featuring de jackson and mama z. These two are among the best writers I've ever read, and, like the fine artists they are, inspire me to aspire to something higher. Thanks, sherry

  18. Thank you all so much for the kind comments.

  19. It is such a joy to learn more about Rajni, De and Mama Zen…their work have been such an inspiration to me!!
    Thanks Sherry, for bringing them to us here. As always it’s great to follow you and your interviews! :))

  20. I thoroughly enjoyed them all! These four are among the poets I most greatly admire in my online reading. And Sherry, I love the way you drew them out about the poems shared here, adding to our enjoyment and insights.

    PS Kelli I am astounded that you sometimes feel 'out of step'. Your poetry always seems to me so immediate, so now.

  21. Thank you, Sherry and poets for showing us how much poetry brings us to life~


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