Why I Write Poetry

To breathe….to exist….to affirm….the list goes on and on. But now in my first year of retirement from a wonderful (albeit hectic!) career in public relations and marketing, I am loving the opportunity to enhance my life through the exploration of poetry.

I live an ordinary life by most people’s standards. On any given day you’ll find me gardening, making jam, or just simply dreaming in my hammock swing. I write poetry because it gives me the chance to explore the mysteries of the little things and express gratitude for the profound joy they give me. It has also helped me in other writing that I do, especially short fiction.

A dear friend shared with me a fabulous newsletter called Brain Pickings, edited by Maria Popova, which recently revealed a treasure trove of wisdom by the fearlessly unconventional E.E. Cummings. In giving advice to a young poet, he said: “A lot of people think or believe or know they feel — but that’s thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling — not knowing or believing or thinking.”

Over the coming weeks, I hope to share more of my regular efforts to capture poetry of the moment, poetry focused on feelings, rather than of a particular belief or knowledge. We’ll start with one from last spring, slightly edited since it originally appeared in the April 2017 30/30 Poetry Project sponsored by Tupelo Press.

Afternoon on Whale Tail Road

Why, when looking down from the deck
at the dandelion tufts in the yard
the arabesque of the mulberry
stealing sun from the fig
and the cats lolling on laundry
blown off the line, does it feel
it would be a shame
to change anything?

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