Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Secret : Poem In Your Post

Two girls discover
the secret of life
in a sudden line of
poetry.

I who don’t know the
secret wrote
the line. They
told me

(through a third person)
they had found it
but not what it was
not even

what line it was. No doubt
by now, more than a week
later, they have forgotten
the secret,

the line, the name of
the poem. I love them
for finding what
I can’t find,

and for loving me
for the line I wrote,
and for forgetting it
so that

a thousand times, till death
finds them, they may
discover it again, in other
lines

in other
happenings. And for
wanting to know it,
for

assuming there is
such a secret, yes,
for that
most of all.

            - Denise Levertov

Is there a secret of poetry too?  What's the relationship between the secret of poetry and the secret of life?  Discuss.

MFB,
L

4 comments:

Christine said...

I need to find out the secret to poetry before I spend quite a bit of time teaching it next year to my future seniors. I'm horrible at poetry and I know a lot of my problem is all mental. Sigh. So maybe the secret to poetry is being open and willing?

Parrish Lantern said...

Landscape with Poets - Miroslav Holub.

Some day when
Everything's at rest,
in the curly landscape painted by Rubens
as a background for Baucis and Philemon,

poets will disperse,
in dark capes and hoods,
mute as the silhouettes of milestones,
at five-hundred-yard intervals to the horizon and beyond,

and in succession
will strum electric guitars
and say their verse, strophe,poem,
like a telegram from one stone to another,

in succession,
like automatic keys
on a piped organ
fingered by monsoon rains,

solitary trees will
him boskily, sheep
will raise shaggy heads,
Orpheus underground will sound
the upper harmonic registers

and the words will float like clouds,
across the information threshold,
up to the shallow sky,
like proteinoids and oligonucleotides,
words as honest as chemical bonds,
words with the autocatalytic function,
genomic and decoding words,

and there will be
either a new form of life
or, possibly,
nothing.

Laurie said...

Perhaps, so, Christine, and to notice the universal in the particular?
And, PL, thanks once again for your contribution: another fine one!

Timothy Moody, D.Min. said...

My answer would be in two quotes. One, by novelist Patrick Rothfuss: “Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”

And this, by MIT professor and novelist, Juno Diaz who says of writers: "What we do might be done in solitude and with great desperation, but it tends to produce exactly the opposite. It tends to produce community and in many people hope and joy.”

These insights are the work of poetry and all writing -- opening minds and hearts, bringing people together and giving meaning to our days -- surely these experiences bring us closer to the secret of life.

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