Thursday, May 12, 2016

i read this book of poems

"Coda" by Danielle Chapman
     from Delinquent Palaces

Beyond the speeches we're given to when young--
the crystal moon, the harlot moon, the moon
big as the sun elongating scrolls
of banisters on the skin of someone
else so young--beyond the still moon cut
from a royal purple sky we stare into
as into the pupil of a beautiful
machine--beyond our grand stupidities--
the urgency won't perish: to be known
in one's own person as crocuses are known
by sun, conceiving green to breathe it,
for ravishment by light, to grow
into the moment in our cells when we open
ourselves as a plant uncoils pistils
and become refulgent whether looked at or not.

When I was in high school, my best friend started dating a guy who wrote poetry. So she started writing poetry, too, and sent some of her poems to me. Then, she bought me a small journal with blank pages and encouraged me to write poems, too. I wrote some really bad ones and stored the journal away for a very long time.

Since then, I've read books of poetry and books about poetry and even took a class on poetry. I found the journal and read my own early poetry. My conclusion: I'm no poet. And though I still read poetry, I'm sure that half the time I'm missing what's meant to be noticed. But poetry is forgiving. Just keep reading it over and over, and soon things emerge that you didn't see at first. I think that's why I love it so much. Surprise and discovery will keep you going after something.

So, I read a book of poems and here is my favorite one. I keep reading it over and over, each time finding something new.


(photo: blue sky over Michigan, at writing conference where I bought and read this book)

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