Introduction to Poetry
“I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
or press an ear against its hive.
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.
I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.”
A writer must digest hundreds of poems before one able to craft a single masterpiece of his or her own. For an introduction to poetry, I believe this is a good place to start.
The old pond
A frog jumps in
The sound of water
Probably one of the most well known haikus of all time, this poem was originally written in Japanese which explains why it does not follow the traditional 5 7 5 format. Basho is a great source of inspiration for my own haiku poetry, as I know many of you often enjoy. Although we have different styles, like Basho, I make it a point to target a single emotion and hit it hard within only 17 syllables. I pray that I succeed in my efforts.
And then the day came,
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk
– Risk by Anais Nin
A lovely favorite of mine and a strong reminder to never hold back. Take risks, be outgoing, because keeping it in is much more difficult than letting go.
To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live.
– Hans Christian Anderson
This poem reminds me of why traveling is such an important part of life. We are not creatures built to stand still. “To travel is to live.”