The Openness of Rhyme and Reason

The Openness of Rhyme and Reason

 

Poetry is…

the space between words better left

unsaid. The cruelest of sharp criticisms and

dreariest of dull explanations can’t

tarnish the beauty of music put to speech, the sheer

wonder of sounds that shouldn’t belong

together, but do, like clouds

can’t dim the

brightness of the night.

 

Poetry is…

the way the stars turn on one of those

open-shutter long-exposure reels on

Animal Planet’s Alaska Special -

all in concentric circles, around and around.

Only Polaris remains motionless.

Words move astrally in poetry,

without start or end.

Perhaps poetry’s Polaris is the sense of it -

the thin, strange line between prose and verse,

the amphoteric stage between

statement and music.

The words dance around it,

but don’t ever dare to touch.

 

Poetry is…  

asymptotic.

It draws near to its subject, like

Tom and Jerry in those old cartoons, but all the

magic would be lost

if the mouse were caught, and

all the mystery of poesy is

bound up in the chase.

The only perfect poem is

an empty page,

everything else is just

an attempt to return to

the empirical form.

 

Poetry is…  

chemistry.

Its elements must all combine in

mathematical precision,

and while it looks easy to master,

it is all too simple to add too much hydrogen

(in poetic terms, hot air)

to a reaction.

 

Poetry is…  

pushing the wrong buttons at the

right times.

Good poetry is infuriating

but

indiscernible in its irritation.

A bad poem will let you know up front what

the author’s issue is, but a good one shows a

world of suffering and

lets you take your pick of sorrows.

 

Poetry is…  

the subtle irritation that

scratches at you,

like a friend’s kitten. It doesn’t go away until

you pick it up, and even then,

it makes you sneeze.

 

Poetry is…

an allergic reaction to

death.

I wonder sometimes, if

we were immortal,

would we still have Shakespeare, or Milton, or Lovelace, or Frost?

Reading poetry, writing poetry, is

a ticket to immortality.

There is no death in verse.

No oblivion can ever swallow words on a page, or the

spaces between.

 

Poetry is…  

nothingness refined to the point that it contains

everything.
 

Poetry is…  

the history of the universe

bound into a few well-turned

phrases.

 

Poetry is…

good words in good places, with

well-engineered spaces.

 

*The beautiful photograph was taken by photographer Lincoln Harris, whose work with long-exposure images is always stunning.*

Comments

Grant-Grey Porter Hawk Guda

Powerful expression. Always let poetry fill your life. 

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