The challenge today is to write a metapoem, or poem about poetry. AKA and Ars Poetica. Archibald Macleish has done this so well that I could weep over my own paltry effort this morning. I commend to you also Marianne Moore, Wallace Stephens and Emily Dickinson. I have considered the nature and purpose of poetry before in this blog here.https://sojourningsmith.blog/2019/03/21/world-poetry-day/.
I begin the first leg of a what will be a week long road trip later this morning. I hope to find wifi along the way to be able to post a Poetry Daily each day. But who knows what the wilds of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland will provide – other than astonishing beauty and inspiration. So, although there may be delayed posts the actual writing of a poem a day will still happen. I have a smaller notebook. I won’t have my magic fountain pen. But travel is supposed to rattle you out of your comfort zone.
It's a way to see 360 degrees, outside and interior. Or interrogate tastes, feelings in words, sound the heart's echoes in the round. It's a way to be free - within lines that unbound. You can never be lonely with some poetry. Not while it talks with your walk. It's turnkey and Houdini unshackling the locks.
There is a long tradition of Ars Poetrica contemplationson the art of poetry. I have been cogitating about this in a kind of brew and stew sort of way a lot recently. Partly, it is because I have been asked to write an article about sacred poetry. The other part is that I am preparing several workshops, including one dedicated to poetry writing next Sunday. What is the common denominator beyond form and content? For me, poetry is connection. I went to sleep with this sputtering in my subconscious and the first verse of today’s poem was beginning to be formed as I was waking.
It’s a drowning world here in my part of Ireland, weather-wise, today. I suspect a lot of St. Patrick’s Day parade floats might literally…float! It’s a good day to hunker down with pen, paper and keyboard. As Felicia Olusanyo (aka Felispeaks) said in the Irish Times this week:
Considering this country is, by its seams, held together by poetry? Poetry and music are the cornerstones of Ireland, I wish we took them more seriously.”
Irish Times, Wednesday, 13 March 2018
So, here I am doing my poetry practice, sewing frayed seams. on the national holiday weekend.
Poetry is a venn diagram between kissing your spouse goodbye hard on the mouth; Michelangelo's painting the finger of God on the Sistine ceiling.
Poetry is the ovum between the touch of the brush, snake's tongue licking eggshell open; La Gioconda's enigmatic smile, her wily gaze's invitation to be awake.
It’s slightly ironic that I chose this featured photo as I got lacerated this morning trying to intervene between two feline boys who are not taking being shut up indoors well. The little black she cat is the only one with any respect for me today.