Poetry is intensity. The very word, poetry, comes from a Greek word meaning "making." Poetry is as intense as Creation itself. You watch the world, including your own reactions to it and actions within it. Out of that, and one with it, the poem comes. 

Poetry is all about seeing. I am not a painter, or a sculptor, but I assume it is the same for those arts and for all art. The point is not meaning, it is experience. When you look at a painting, you don't ask what it means, not at first. You simply look, you feel, you experience the colors and shading and the lines of it. So poetry is. If I wanted to explain something to you, I would write an essay; I write a poem when I wish for you to experience what I have experienced, to see, if just for a moment, the world as I have seen it. The words are there for their music more than their definitions. The various vibrations, the melody of the sounds and the rhythm of their flow. You can almost dance to it; your heart does dance to it. 

Analysis comes later; that is, it is secondary. It has its place, else poets would write nonsense non-words, for pure musical effect. This has probably been done, somewhere. But of course the poet does have something to communicate. Some poets are more explicit than others, but ultimately, the point is to merge both the explicit and implicit meanings with the pure sounds and rhythms of the language to bring out something far larger than sits black and white on the page. 

Poetry is using words to go beyond words, form to go beyond form, Creation to, however obliquely, get a glimpse at the Creator, spirit, that something that lies beneath all existence. It is to bring the whole human into play: intellect and thought, intuition and soul, sense and pure physicality. The words have meanings, those meanings point to and play off of one another, the words play on the ears and resonate, when spoken, in the cavities of the body. We move with the poem, we become the poem.


Poetry Quotes

One of the ridiculous aspects of being a poet is the huge gulf between how seriously we take ourselves and how generally we are ignored by everybody else" ~Billy Collins

We don't read and write poetry because it's cute.  We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race.  And the human race is filled with passion.  And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life.  But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.  ~Dead Poet's Society

Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting.  ~Robert Frost

Poetry is the language in which man explores his own amazement.  ~Christopher Fry

Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.  ~Carl Sandburg

If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the inquisition might have let him alone. ~Thomas Hardy

Poetry: the best words in the best order. ~Samuel T. Coleridge


My Poems