Poetry

Welcome to Poetry

My real appreciation of poetry didn’t happen until after my 50th birthday. Now I can’t imagine starting the day without a poem from the likes of Rilke or Mary Oliver, or others who are able to express in words what I can only feel. Hopefully this means I’m finally growing up! 

I read poetry because it slows me down and stills me, even as it works inside me. Poetry clears my vision so that I can see more, and farther.  Poetry invites me to pay attention to the mystery that is embedded in everyday things and places and people around me.  In Mary Oliver’s words, poetry is the tree calling out to me as I’m hurriedly rushing by, saying:  “Stay awhile. You too have come into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine”. 

Poetry is a way of “thinking with our feelings” (Elizabeth Bishop), of connecting mind with heart as we find words that convey an experience, an idea or a feeling. Poetry has a way of calling you to engage with what’s going on inside, where you are nobody but yourself.  Ursula Le Guin makes this comparison:  “Science describes accurately from the outside, poetry describes accurately from the inside.  Science explicates, poetry implicates. Both celebrate what they describe”. 

For me, this is the magic of a well-written poem:  its ability to describe from the inside the experience as I live it on the outside, using carefully chosen words that surprise me and open my vulnerability.  As David Whyte has famously said: “Poetry is language against which you have no defenses”.

This poetry section welcomes poems that you want to share, because they mean something to you.  These poems may be offered without the need for any explanation on the poem itself. They might even be poems written by you!

Robert, February 2019

 

Why a doctor writes poetry

Why a doctor writes poetry

So I'm a 50 something wife, mum, and physician currently in general practice. I write because writing to me feels like living. I write when things are hard because strong emotions almost write themselves. I also write about the happy and astounding or inexplicable...

Faith is …

Faith is …

János Pilinszky, one of the most important Hungarian poets of the 20th century, defined faith as "intensely refined vision".  It’s what Bach had, he said, that enabled him to produce such brilliant music.  What Bach imagined inwardly, he realised physically in notes...

Now I Become Myself

Now I Become Myself

A poem by May Sarton - 'Now I Become Myself'   Now I become myself,It's taken time, many years and places,I've been dissolved and shaken,Worn other people's faces,Now I become myself. Why is now the time to become yourself?Why is it hard to accept that it takes time...

Good fences make …

Good fences make …

My friend and I were tossing around ideas from the morning news, and we came inevitably to the subject of walls. I recalled the old saying: ‘good fences make good neighbours’ He looked at me, confused, and asked, ‘where did that come from?’ Having grown up in Southern...

A Hattyú – The Swan

A Hattyú – The Swan

My friend and I were tossing around ideas from the morning news, and we came inevitably to the subject of walls. I recalled the old saying: ‘good fences make good neighbours’ He looked at me, confused, and asked, ‘where did that come from?’ Having grown up in Southern...

Adesso Divento Me Stesso

Adesso Divento Me Stesso

Szemléld a hattyút a víznél, és csodát láthatsz kibontakozni. A parton még ügyetlenül totyogott a víz felé, sután és elveszetten, egyensúlyából ki-kibillenve. A vízhez érve aztán egy pillanat alatt kiveszett belőle az esetlenség: hangtalanul átalakult higgadt...

too wonderful for words

too wonderful for words

Che immenso piacere suonare con amici e per amici. Un venerdì sera tre jazzisti, io alla tromba, Salvatore al basso, e Peo alla chitarra, ci siamo trovati per condividere delle composizioni originali con un pubblico caloroso, pieno dei sorrisi di molte persone che ho...

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