…to which you have a response.
In writing a poem, you feel a certain “release” and when you read or listen to poetry, you may experience a visceral understanding of this poetic language. Don’t take my word for it. Spend some time reading the poetry that attracts you. There are so many poets, past and present, each with a unique voice. Chances are that you are going to find one that resonates with you. Or, that your own poet’s voice is straining to be heard. Give it the opportunity…there is free verse, personal poetry and all varieties of poetic form (or not) to pour your poetry into. It’s a sweet exploration, isn’t it?
Reading a poem, it is best to sit with it for awhile. Until the thrum of it touches your being. A poem is a meditation if you allow it to be. A great poem can almost be too much to savor in one sitting. And certainly, if you read many poems in a row, you are going to walk away from the experience feeling pleasantly or unpleasantly glutted, like after you’ve just finished a holiday feast!
It is recommended that you portion out your poetry. Let one poem follow you around throughout your day like a little dog sniffing at your heels. You might discover that one poem could be quite enough.
Here’s one for today:
The Well of Grief
by David Whyte
Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface on the well of grief
turning downward through its black water
to the place we cannot breathe
will never know the source from which we drink,
the secret water, cold and clear,
nor find in the darkness glimmering
the small round coins
thrown by those who wished for something else.
Listening to David Whyte reading his poem many times over, I have a sense of “wafting”. With each repetition, I descend into the “well of grief”, traveling through the layers of the poem and within myself.
Poetry has this power and provides this opportunity.
If this poem has appeal for you, do let it follow you around throughout the day. If not this one, find a poem that touches you and claim it as your “loyal pet for the day.”