Poetry

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For my 50th birthday a couple years ago I received this cool little journal with butterflies on it. It looked like a perfect place to write poetry, except, I didn’t write poetry- not really. Sure, I had embraced the opening I saw within that I was a writer, but a poet? This little journal compelled me to try, to experiment with allowing a flow of words to find their way onto a page. It felt good.

Recently I saw on the cover of a literary magazine someone claiming that if a poem is easily understood then it is not a good poem. Perceiving what a poem should or should not be may keep us from trying. I quickly wrote this response:

“Maybe it’s not great poetry. Maybe it has clear meaning. But so what? If your goal is to be a great writer or a great poet, as defined by others, then what is the point? Is not writing, immediately, initially, an expression of the soul, even when the words you find first may not completely convey all that you want to say? But the key is to let yourself speak, embracing the words that flow now. As those words, poems, stories create deeper openings and windows to your soul, the creative process will hone not just the transcription of the words, but also transform your being.”

Reading poetry is important. I like to choose a random book of poetry at the library each time I go. I recently downloaded a poetry app called “The Josephine Hart Poetry App” which I highly recommend.

“Poetry threw sudden shafts of light on my own soul.” – Josephine Hart

However you see yourself, I recommend poetry- both reading it and writing it, just for yourself. It has definitely been shining new light into my soul.

The first poem to seriously impact my life, way back in 1979…

The Road Not Taken

by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

*********************

A poem I wrote recently that happens to reference Frost’s poem and its meaning for my life today…

Choice

I’ve carried
a burden
within, so long,
to choose
a single
definite,
less worn
path as I
looked ahead and swore
that
I saw two.

Yes, two paths
definitely diverged
in front of me
and didn’t Robert
Frost say take the
One (a mirror)
less travelled and
hadn’t I believed
it could be no
other
way.

The Scarecrow
and Dorothy
meet and
must choose
which way and
the scarecrow’s
arms go one way
then another and
finally,
arms locked
together
they skip
down
the very one that
simply presented
itself
most likely.

I froze-
scared
knowing too well
how way, well
it leads on to
way
And, was this the
way? I couldn’t
be sure (a mystery)

Anne Morrow Lindbergh
writer
a quote
read many
years before
Casa de Suenos
(House of Dreams)
Today it was
there, my first
prayer of the day
flat on my back
with feet that had
not yet hit
the floor-
“One should lie
empty, open,
choiceless as
the beach- waiting
for a gift from the
sea.”

Choiceless.

It sunk in
releasing
me (silly girl)
from the
pressure of
believing I am
the master of my
destiny.
I’ve always known better.
So on a sunny
day
the summer solstice,
I let it go
pouring
out the pain of
decision.

Surrender

Now, there
finally
I see
only one
continuous path
ahead, filled with
grace-
a road that
rises to meet me
evolving from and
through where I
walked
before.

Past, present, future
all one as
I take that
next
step
ahead.

 

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3 comments on “Poetry

  1. Tim says:

    I really like your take on “The Road Not Taken.” I really love that poem. I am taking a different road now and I think it will make all the difference.

  2. Hi Danese, I love your poem and its message. I also enjoyed hiking with you and Adrian. Too bad about the lost key 😦 ~ Dennis

    • Thank you, Dennis. I guess that lost key served a greater purpose…another beautiful hike and some fun photos with my bear. Adrian is hoping to be included again on one of my hikes! 🙂

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