Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Truth

No legacy is so rich as honesty. - William Shakespeare

“The truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is.” 

“Writing needs raw truth, wants your suffering and darkness on the table, revels in a cutting mind that takes no prisoners...” 

“Truth has to be repeated constantly, because Error also is being preached all the time, and not just by a few, but by the multitude.” 

 Midweek Motif ~ Truth

Back in the 1970s,  Adrienne Rich’s “Women and Honor: Some Notes on Lying” asserted that  omission of truth is as much a lie as falsifying of information.  Honor demands truth. Rich says:
“The unconscious wants truth, as the body does. The complexity and fecundity of dreams come from the complexity and fecundity of the unconscious struggling to fulfill that desire.”  
I believe we poets aim always to tell the truth about things and about truth itself.   But truth is difficult. 

Your challenge:  Choose a truth to tell in a poem.  Or tell us how and where to find “the truth.”

When my love swears that she is made of truth
I do believe her, though I know she lies,
That she might think me some untutored youth,
Unlearnèd in the world's false subtleties.
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
Although she knows my days are past the best,
Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue;
On both sides thus is simple truth suppressed.
But wherefore says she not she is unjust?
And wherefore say not I that I am old?
O, love's best habit is in seeming trust,
And age in love, loves not to have years told.
Therefore I lie with her, and she with me,
And in our faults by lies we flattered be. 

Truth Coming Out of Her Well to Shame Mankind by  Jean-Léon Gérôme (1896) 


  1. Wow, that video is THE BEST! I love it. I have been cogitating a poem of truth for a few days. It may be gloomy, given the state of things. Will be back.

  2. Good morning, Poets United! I just got home from a 6AM breakfast at the Ground Zero Starbucks behind yesterday's country-wide Starbucks' trainings and last night's Town Hall on MSNBC, "Everyday Racism in America." I'm part of a group called newCORE, "New Conversations about Race and Ethnicity." So we held a conversation. Lots of truth was spoken and the atmosphere was gentle and settled. It could have been otherwise, but that's how it was. And it fit right in with the poetry we're reading and writing today. I hope I can write more about the morning--maybe a poem--later

    Have a happy Wednesday, everyone. Thank you for being here for part of your day, week, life!

  3. Hello all-My poem took a dark turn....

  4. Such a meaningful conversation it must have been, Susan. A few days ago, we had a HIGHLY unusual event at the local CoOp, our one grocery store. A white supremacist, who must have been a tourist, let forth a stream of invesctive towardssome First Nations people in the store. Appalling and this just never happens. I saw the effects of this next day. Native faces were closed and guarded. No big smiles and greetings like I usually see. Sadly, it only takes one incident like this to set us back YEARS of building bridges. I am nonconfrontational, always, but had I been there I would have spoken up. Absolutely unacceptable behaviour.

    1. Did anyone speak up? Or were the victims of the aggression left so alone and separate? Gosh. Here--you may know if you followed the news story--2 people spoke up, both young, one African American woman and one Euro American woman. I understand that they've become friends since.

  5. I don't know why I can't post my poem. What's wrong with my Wordpress blog? Please help.

    1. Give me the poem's address and let me post it through Mr. Linky!

    2. Done! Posted! I'm relieved. And it is a beautiful poem.

    3. Thank you so much Susan. Hope this trouble is gone forever.

  6. Thanks for the inspiring prompt Susan.
    I forgot to link up yesterday...
    Anna :o]


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