The Poem of the Day
Updated: Feb 14
Sometimes, on retreats or in college classrooms, we write poems. The writers’ what is limited to the sensory; they can describe only physical perceptions. The only other rule is that they must hold in their minds a specific memory or vision as they write.
What ends up happening, of course, is that each person’s memory or vision suffuses their described physical perceptions to such an extent that the reader picks up on it, often in its entirety. This poem is about missing a father, even though the father is never mentioned. The writer never says “wedding day,” but this poem obviously celebrates the connection of her love with her wife’s.
The new poets are amazed. They glimpse what they see as the magic of art, which is really just the building of portals to channel the one reality of connection in different, flashier directions. The careful shaping of physical reality to negate its own privileged status at the forefront of cultural imagination.
The invisible is far truer and longer-lasting than the visible. That’s why art works in the first place.
Every day amounts to a poem built with specific perceptions of our lives. Most of us are writing the same poem over and over.
Be willing to tinker with your how. It doesn’t matter what you perceive; the what is just an outcome of the how. So: how do you perceive? How are you being? That’s what determines your raw material. It will seem at first that change does not make for rhyming poetry. But be open to your own natural state of evolution. Every decent artist learns to live most fully and comfortably in a state of experimentation.