Poet Jane Hirshfield said "... the feeling I have about poem-writing (is) that it is always an exploration, of discovering something I didn't already know.  Who I am shifts from moment to moment, year to year.  What I can perceive does as well.  A new poem peers into mystery, into whatever lies just beyond the edge of knowable ground."

I bring a different poem to the writing classes each week, not only to inspire but to introduce new poets to the group members.

Poetry Is... by Robert Priest

there are those who lay bricks
there are those who break rocks with picks
there are those who work on assembly belts
there are those who care for children
there are sex workers
and there are those who make poems

turn on the belt and begin
the great clacking of the typewriter
smashing at the rock in the paper
thumping at the door in the paper
pushing at the bird in the paper
shaping and re-shaping the poem
holding it up to the light

there is the carpenter
and then further along down the river is the poet
filling up, systematically
the clean white rectangle
clang clang clang
his silver hammer arcs high in the sun
as he cracks through the mica surface
jang jang jang
as he shatters the diamonds there
looking for bright
truths

poetry is
manual labour

~ from Blue Pyramids (ECW Press, 2002)


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