Where the poems are

This summer I am not teaching poetry. I miss it. Teaching poetry means reading poetry every day. It means I get to talk about poetry every day. It means I get the opportunity to tell other people what I love about poetry and see one of them from time to time learn to love it, too. In April, I was fortunate enough to hear Naomi Shihab Nye speak. (One of her poems is posted on today’s Writer’s Almanac, check it out). She visited with my students and said something like, “I’ve never been in a room where poetry was not.” So when I’m not teaching poetry I look at a day and I ask myself, “Where is the poetry today?” It is always somewhere. Saturday night it was in the amazing gauze of clouds mixing with the orange pink of sunset while I sat at an outdoor concert, my ears filling with music and surrounded by people who were just plain happy to be there under the sky, toes in the grass, breathing in the same sounds together. Today was more prosaic. But I know the poetry was there, someplace. Certainly it was in the rows and rows of flowers growing on a local farm where once a week I pick up bags of fresh produce. Standing in the fields of blossoming color, was like standing in the middle of a poem – right between the lines. Earlier today I learned about the Hindu concept of time – that not only do people move in and out of form (reincarnation and all of that) but so does the entire planet, the universe, everything. Just breathing in the tiniest morsel of that thought felt like the kind of secret that is curled up in the heart of a poem, a little gem of eternity nestled beneath so many words.

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One thought on “Where the poems are

  1. Wasn’t that the most amazing sunset? Whenever the sky is the bright blue and the clouds are etched against it in sharp, painterly relief like that, I say to myself, “Michelangelo clouds” — if you’ve ever seen one of his paintings up close, he captured them exactly. Poetry for sure. And I love reading about ideas of time not so bound to the linear concept. I am too tied to it in my daily life, and being able to imagine slipping loose of its confines is a delicious thought.

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