Poem for Poetry Thursday

Why I love poetry ... in 153 words or less
by January O’Neil

Every time I attempt to answer this question, I come up with a different answer. And I think that’s part of the reason why I love poetry: because it changes you.

If you’re like me, there are poems you carry around like a child’s security blanket. You pull them out when you need them, no matter how tattered that swath of fabric has become. A good poem can make you feel better about yourself. And it doesn’t matter if you wrote it, heard it at a poetry reading, or received it in the mail from a friend.

Whenever this question comes up, I always fall back on the words of William Carlos Williams from his poem “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower”:
It is difficult to get the news from poems yet men die miserably every day for
lack of what is found there.
Words to live by… and I do.

And now, it wouldn’t be Poetry Thursday if I didn’t have a poem. Just wrote it so it’s very rough. No title yet.

Writing a poem about writing a poem
is like trying to find a planet with the naked eye
nothing but the universe to stop you.
Those distant agates captured
under Hubble’s sexy gaze.
Even our bodies are born in explosions,
all of those dark ingredients
expanding and collapsing above us,
inside of us.

A small void becomes a contour of cosmos,
the heavy elements and high mass,
like a poem—the axis of the imagined
and the distorted. Who can sleep
in the dark water of night
writing and sleeping
and waking to write?


Norma said…
If this is a draft, I'd say it is spectacular. A great post.

Here's mine. http://collectingmythoughts.blogspot.com/2007/01/poetry-thursday-4-our-prompt-this-week.html
la vie en rose said…
brilliant! and that bit from wcw...yes!
sarala said…
I love the wcw poem. I read some of your stuff and realized you are on Sunday Scribblings too. I like your Fantasy story.
I'll be back for more.
Hmm... I'll have to read more of Mr. williams... thanks, January! Wonderful poem!
G said…
Who can sleep
in the dark water of night
writing and sleeping
and waking to write?

That rhythm rocks. I really like the image of looking for a planet while we are planets unto ourselves, the idea that there's so much out there to get our minds around.
my backyard said…
I like the security blanket image
I found myself staring into a broad expanse of possibility after reading your words. What a wonderful way to sum up why you love poetry, the ability to create, to change.
I agree with Norma--sounds great to me the way it is. And, I love spacey stuff, too!(and I've seen photographs and videos of egg and sperm stuff that are as fantastic and spacey as anything from the Hubble.

btw, I dreamed about you last night--we were having lunch or something--I can't remember much, but you were definitely there!
wendy said…
This is very moving. Pehaps that how we are all the same. Poets notice change, perhaps even court change.

Nothing but the universe to stop you.

Very elogant.
Isn't is amazing that we see the subtle changes. Something to do with our poetic minds.

saluting the poetic words.
why I love Poetry.
gkgirl said…
nothing but the universe to stop you

i love that line.

Rethabile said…
Good post. I dig the poem, too, because "even our bodies are born in explosions." Cool.
January said…
Thanks Rethabile. And thanks for the comments, everyone.
January said…
Pepek, that's great. I hope one day we can make that dream a reality and have lunch. I thiknk we'd be good friends.
January said…

"Pehaps that how we are all the same. Poets notice change, perhaps even court change."

paris parfait said…
Terrific poem (no revisions needed)! And the William Carlos Williams quote always touches me.
ecm said…
there are so many great lines in this "sexy Hubble", "even our bodies are born in explosions" "dark ingredients/expanding and collapsing above us" Great poem! And I really liked your lines from William Carlos Williams...hadn't read those before

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