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
HISTORIC MOMENT:
The man said,
after inventing poetry, WOW!
and did a full somersault.
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The Silence/Warning
Permanently
Occasional Alternative
Your Poem, Man...
How to Be a Poet
Oatmeal
Dear Reader
Kidnap Poem
Ars Poetica
Several Things
The Poet
Word
Poet's Corner
How to Eat a Poem
Why I am a Poet
The New Poetry Handbook
A Loaf of Poetry
For Poets
Poet, Trying to Surprise God
Why I am Not a Painter
Apple that Astonished
Eating Poetry
A New Poet
How Can You Become Poet
Selecting a Reader
The Joy of Writing
Notes on the Art of Poetry
Why do Poets Write?
Glass
I Stop Writing the Poem
An Obsessive Combination
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Poet's Corner
Poet's Corner
Back to Poetry Central for Various & Delicious Favorite Poems
Poems on Passion, Partners & Life Paths
Uni-verse for Peace on the Planet
Poems on Garden Plots, Plantings & Purple Lilacs
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?
LAUNDRY DAY
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DIURNAL
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Links to my other poetry topics:
Tasks
Teaching the Ape to Write
People Like Us
Man Writes Poem
poetry readings
The Silence
You Go to School to Learn
Dear Editor
Writing
The Trouble with Poetry
I Ask You
Excerpt
Rereading Frost
Home Fire
Want Ads
The Trouble with Poetry - 2
Poems on Passings and Partings
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Sonnet
Poetics
Thesaurus
The Secret
Of Modern Poetry
live, on stage!
A Considerable Speck
The Best Cigarette
Digging