Friday, December 31, 2010

A Poem to Remind Us All, Poets or Not.

I've just woken up unreasonably early, my head jumbled with jigsaw puzzle pieces of bad dreams and worries that don't quite fit together. Perhaps it's the start of a New Year that has got my subconscious so worked up. Making a list of resolutions seems so painfully cliche (and I'm too muddled to get it right at the moment anyway.) Instead, I thought of this poem, with it's advice to "avoid screens" and honor silence. (The photo above is from this lovely apartment.) Wishing you a New Year filled with clarity and peace.



How To Be a Poet


(to remind myself)


Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill—more of each
than you have—inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgment.


Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.


Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.


Simply Sarah said...

What a great note to start the new year on!
Thanks B

Jessica said...

What a beautiful poem and what a great time to read it. It reminds me a little of this radio show I love. I really think you'll love this episode:

(I was going to email it to you before I read this poem, but then I wanted to share it with everyone. I feel a little bit like advertising spammer though...but poetry is worth it!)

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