THE EDUCATION OF A POET
Her pencil poised, she's ready to create,
Then listens to her mind's perverse debate
On whether what she does serves any use;
And that is all she needs for an excuse
To spend all afternoon and half the night
Enjoying poems other people write.
— Leslie Monsour
from The Alarming Beauty of the Sky
published by Red Hen Press
People who want to write poetry worry that what they write won't be "any good." No one can judge the worth of a poem before it's been written and setting high standards for yourself can keep you from writing. And if you don't write you'll miss out on the pleasure of making something from words, of seeing your thoughts on a page. The poem above is a concise snapshot of a self-censoring poet.
Poetry is concerned with using
with abusing, with losing with wanting,
with denying with avoiding with adoring
with replacing the noun. It is doing that always
doing that, doing that and doing nothing but that.
Poetry is doing nothing but using losing refusing and
pleasing and betraying and caressing nouns. That is
what poetry does, that is what poetry has to do no
matter what kind of poetry it is. And there are a
great many kinds of poetry.
— Gertrude Stein
The man said,
after inventing poetry, WOW!
and did a full somersault.
Favorite Poems by Poets on Writing Poetry
Please note that these poems are reproduced without permission and are intended purely to share my pleasure in the following pages of poetry with my small group of interested friends. The words are so delicious and sensuous and smart and playful to this Granny, who grew up in the freezing gray world of a Minnesota family farm on the rural prairie during the war. Why shouldn't we spend all our money on books of poetry?
Links to my other poetry topics: