6.15.2006

How To Be a Poet

How To Be a Poet
(to remind myself)

by Wendell Berry



Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill—more of each
than you have—inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your work,
doubt their judgment.
Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
There are only sacred places
And desecrated places.



from Given New Poems © Shoemaker, Hoard, Washington, D.C.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

miss snark, will you marry me?

thank you.

KillerYapp said...

Back off buster, she's mine

george clooney said...

excuse me?

KillerYapp said...

ya, excuse YOU, you pot bellied, pig lover.

Miss Snark said...

I think my dog just called me a pig.

This night is really going to hell in a handbag.

mamalujo1 said...

I kinda LOOK like George Clooney! (Waits hopefully while the Goddess of Snark clicks on the name and checks out the picture on the profile-btw, it's when I was only 12).
Oh wait-already married. Ahhh well, it was such a pretty thought.

Amy said...

Most people think they are POETS because they can string together completely abstract, jarring words in an odd pattern across a page - being obscure for the sake of being obscure does not poetry make... (sorry, I'm a little biased, I've been reading poetry submissions all week)

Anonymous said...

who says i'm a "buster"?

and george, we can share her. i don't mind.

Anonymous said...

How to write (poetry):

Don't think. Write. Leave the thinking for the editing. -JTC

Anonymous said...

This poem by Berry is one of my favorites. Thanks.

kathryn magendie said...

Not a poet myself, however, I read poetry submissions (volunteer for a literary e-zine), and am amazed at the talent "out there." Personally, I like narrative poetry, or, poetry that isn't about the poet's ego, but about the images and emotions it evokes. This poem on the surface seems so simple, but under that little lapping pool is a full strong lush world.
glad I read it. needed to.

Cynthia Bronco said...

Thanks Miss Snark, that was great!

ontheprowl said...

Apparently, Miss Snark, George Clooney is saving himself for you:

http://buggydoo.blogspot.com/2006/06/thanks-lot-clooney.html

LJCohen said...

Ahhh, lovely Miss Snark. I hadn't read this poem before. Thank you for posting it.

best,
lj/lisa

Anonymous said...

I was so inspired that I retrieved a poem from my satchel:

Kinky clown, Kinky clown
Take me with you when you drown
Cause Kinky Clown never frowns

Kinky clown, Kinky clown
Take me with you when you drown
Cause Kinky Clown never downs his booze

Kinky clown, Kinky clown
Take me with you when you drown
Cause Kinky Clown never browns his nose

Kinky clown, Kinky clown
Take me with you when you drown
Cause Kinky Clown never clowns around

Without Kinky the clown
We would all drown

jta said...

Anon poet,

put that poem back in the satchel,

remove to safe place,

add gasoline and road flare.

Thank you.