Friday, April 27, 2012

Poetry Friday: How to Be a Poet

I'm wondering how many Poetry Friday posters and readers are going, like I am, to the International Reading Association conference in Chicago next week.  Is there some kind of secret signal I should know to help me recognize fellow bloggers? 

I did a poetry reading this week.  Several people had been invited to read, but I ended up being the only one who accepted.  There was hardly anyone there, but it was still fun to read my poems to an appreciative audience.  I hope I can do that again sometime. 

I was amazed to see how many poems I had to choose from; writing just a little at a time, I have amassed quite a large collection.  There's a real sense of satisfaction in making something that didn't exist before.

Here's Wendell Berry for today, with his poem "How to Be a Poet."  I am afraid I don't follow many of his instructions.  There's not much quiet in my life right now, with kids at home and screeching middle schoolers at work.  But he says this poem is a reminder for himself, so I guess it can be a reminder for me, too.

How To Be a Poet

by Wendell Berry
(to remind myself)

Make a place to sit down.   
Sit down. Be quiet.   
You must depend upon   
affection, reading, knowledge,   
skill—more of each   
than you have—inspiration,   
work, growing older, patience,   
for patience joins time   
to eternity. Any readers   
who like your poems,   
doubt their judgment.   

Happy Friday!


Linda at teacherdance said...

I am not going to Chicago, but hope you have a wonderful time Ruth. Thank you for Berry's poem. I'm not sure even in my quieter life than you that I have his life either. I loved the idea of it, however, and these lines: make a poem that does not disturb the silence from which it came.

Janet said...

Nice to see some Berry here. :)

Andi Sibley said...

I had a problem with the link. I think you have some extra in the address line.

My favorite part of Berry's poem: "stay away from screens." LOL I don't think I can do that!

Ruth said...

Thanks, Andi. I fixed it.

Susan Taylor Brown said...

Have a lovely adventure in Chicago. I'm sure you'll meet some like-minded souls.

Love this poem and had forgotten about it. Thanks for the reminder. I've printed out a copy for my poetry book about poetry.

Rich Bowen said...

Yes, i need the quiet too. I was pondering this morning how many poems have been dislodged by a scream between brain and pen. I even tried to write a poem about that. I expect you know what happened.