I have had a long absence from both reading and writing poetry. It is hard to identify when or why it began but it has been a chunk of my life rather than a couple of years out. The why, I suspect, does not reflect me in a pleasant light and probably has something to do with me turning into some sort of snob.
Lately I have started to creep back, though, gently prodded by other bloggers who are unashamed to post poetry of their own and of other people (namely Barbara Lane and Robert Rife) and by others who advocate enthusiastically for poetry (Xe Sands and Marly Youmans). So I have been listening and reading again, and writing a tiny bit.
When I was younger and more prolific in the poetry department, it was one of the main ways I made sense of the world around me because it enables us to capture and hold something in a cage of words without destroying it, defining it or curtailing its mystery. The kind of poetry that I really connect with is the stuff that brings elusive, ephemeral, intimated truths into focus and holds them for a moment, leaving the afterglow of an impression rather than the proof of a fact. Some things in life are like that – they will never stay still long enough for us to get them under a microscope, but that doesn’t make them any less real.
I need to recapture some of that stuff. Then, there’s the other thing I had forgotten: Poetry is fun. It is safe to experiment. It is a sandbox of words. So I don’t need to be so uptight about it. In the past, I have always written stuff that needs to be read aloud to be put in its best light, but this one probably only has any chance of making sense when seen on paper:
Six years passed the grass has grown and been cut
Over this house although it never was this long before
Six seasons of spring mornings the same dew has perspired
Just like this one upwards still the relentlessness
But the thing that of laundry and dishes on the
I awakened to under today’s sideboard has been
Sun was that one day was all I can manage these
Too much like the others rhythms this cycle pinioned
What has happened to this house
What has changed for six years?
I cannot say.