LESSON 56

To be a poet, you need to think like a poet.  How, you may ask, does a poet think?  A poet thinks in brevity and in imagery and sees the world around them, vividly, through their five senses.  A poet hears the melody of birdsong in the springtime and sees the raindrops as they drip slowly down the window-glass, and tastes the sweet, tart juice of summer peaches, and grows giddy on the scent of lilacs blooming on a late April morning and feels the breeze like satin on their skin.  A poet is a part of everything, and everything is a part of the poet.

To write poetry one must let go of inhibitions and preconceived ideas.  A poet must be open to the truth as it is spoken or written or happening in real time.  A poet must allow pain in, in order to spill pain out onto the page.  A poet must believe the words they write so that the reader not only understands, but feels deeply, the truths the poet speaks.

One of the things I’ve always done, when writing my poetry, is to let the words spill out of me, as water spills out of a pitcher.  As many words as are in me are allowed to find their way onto the page and then, the poet in me kicks in, and I start cutting, editing, chopping away at those words that don’t add something unique or are repetitive in thought.  I cut my way right down to bone, where the poem lives.

Example:

…the melody of birdsong in the springtime and sees the raindrops as they drip slowly down the window-glass, and tastes the sweet, tart juice of summer peaches, and grow giddy on the scent of lilacs blooming on a late April morning and feels the breeze like satin on their skin.

SPRING MORING

Birdsong breaks

the silence as raindrops

slide down window glass   I break

fast on the taste of sweet

tart peaches grow giddy

on the scent of lilacs   heavy

in the air   feel the breeze about me

thick with the hope of summer

I let go

of despair.  – Susan A. Katz (All rights reserved)

Note that this short poem uses all the five senses (sig)

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