What’s a poem?
Is it witty wordplay,
phrases or sentences that
are stripped prose meant
to be insightful, arrayed
in stanzas and verses,
that at times its theme seems
puzzling or incomprehensible to a reader?
Yes, but not this alone.
Is it hand-picked words
in the best order –
set in patterns of rhyme
that coax the impulse
to tap a foot or nod
in time to its rhythmic beat,
while evoking the senses of:
image and symbol, speech, and feelings?
Yes, this and much more.
It is paying attention to what’s noble
but also what’s rude, inhumane, and bizarre.
Dressed in the garb of everyday experience
it lends imagination a voice, excite
our capacity for wonder,
our appreciation of beauty, and
our perception of the world around us.
Poetry knows no will, no purpose, but its own;
it craves an audience, not a panacea.
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