I believe we all carry the yearnings for some poetry in our lives; either to write or hear it. It made a difference for me to have people in my life who loved language, the way that one adores wine or a kiss. There are words that make love to every word that stutters by, and there are words that are loners or at least they don’t sit cooperatively in a sentence. Here’s what I remember; family and friends who would say “Listen, LISTEN!” and then read poetry to me, with their voices infused with delight as if every word of the poem was a musical elixir.
The essential gift of the poet is the ability to perceive connections that in ordinary life have become invisible. For the poetic mind, life is always extraordinary and experiences which seem irreconcilable are bridged using strands of metaphor. The world becomes a realm of illuminated relationships.
When I write poetry I sometimes imagine the flavor of specific words and feel the shape of them in my mouth, although I am not speaking. Some words and phrases, not necessarily the ones you would expect, are very sensual. It has partly to do with the fluidity of certain sounds that when combined create a luxurious cadence of syllables. At the same time, it’s a waking dream as the shape of the poem unfolds in countless directions. But the poet must pick just one path of carefully chosen words. Everything for the poet becomes intensely reduced and absurdly heightened. The resulting poem frames an expanse of emotions and experience, with a hint of epiphany on the horizon.
© 2008 Karin M. Weber