Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Poem A Day

Since it's National Poetry Month, I did sign up for A Poem A Day. After some of the comments left on my poetry post from earlier this month, I had to blog this poem I received last week. A couple comments were made in reference to feeling dumb when reading poetry. I admitted too, that sometimes I don't know what I'm reading about when it comes to poetry. This poem is a perfect response - and I totally understood it. :)

How to Read a Poem: Beginner's Manual
by Pamela Spiro Wagner

First, forget everything you have learned,
that poetry is difficult,
that it cannot be appreciated by the likes of you,
with your high school equivalency diploma,
your steel-tipped boots,
or your white-collar misunderstandings.

Do not assume meanings hidden from you:
the best poems mean what they say and say it.

To read poetry requires only courage
enough to leap from the edge
and trust.

Treat a poem like dirt,
humus rich and heavy from the garden.
Later it will become the fat tomatoes
and golden squash piled high upon your kitchen table.

Poetry demands surrender,
language saying what is true,
doing holy things to the ordinary.

Read just one poem a day.
Someday a book of poems may open in your hands
like a daffodil offering its cup
to the sun.

When you can name five poets
without including Bob Dylan,
when you exceed your quota
and don't even notice,
close this manual.


Ali said...

I love this! Thank you for sharing. :)

A. said...

Thanks for your comment Ali!

maega said...

Love this A!

CMS said...

Where did you find this poem? It's perfect.

One of the most, um, disturbing poems was left in my senior yearbook by a quiet kid named Frank. I wonder what he's up to these days. I can still remember what he wrote:

If I had an axe
You would be dead
You'd find it embedded
Right in your head

I think he was flirting with me.

A. said...

CMS: Too funny (and a bit scary)! Probably a good thing that he was a senior and getting out of there.

You have some of the best stories - and such a good memory for things like that.