12 July 2012

When Poems Write Themselves


Sometimes they emerge whole cloth unbidden,
other times they bubble up in response to a prompt, emerging
from underground springs unremembered up to then.

Sometimes they flow from fingertips as if encoded in muscle and bone,
bypassing barriers in one swift leap to tell their story.

Words jump hurdles without help to have themselves heard,
run helter skelter to find the precise order that brings
recognition, consonance, the inner sigh of aha.

Might they have a life of their own apart from us
and seek a channel to sluice through and be spoken?

Might it be that I don't write some poems but rather
they write themselves and sing aloud to find their lovers while I
stand dumbfounded, shocked into remembrance, a re-collection of ancestors echos?



Gay is host today at the dVerse Poets Pub  with a wonderful post, Ars Poetica- Poems About Poetry to celebrate one year of poetry at the Pub. For information, inspiration and all round great poetry, check it out.
And a grateful thanks to Claudia over at Jaywalking the Moon for her wonderful "how i write my poetry" that sparked this poem of my experience when poems take over to birth themselves.

34 comments:

  1. nice...absolutely love that last stanza...i really like the thought that they are waiting for the one that is willing...that they are alive...because i think that they are...smiles...really nice...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do think of poems as alive and I like the thought that they look for lovers and that I might be one…hopefully!

      Delete
  2. nice..love the times when they birth themselves, bubbling and emerging...writing themselves and sing aloud to find their lovers...bukowski says a poet should wait until the words pile up before they start to write...reminded me of this.. mine don't always pile..but each giving birth is different, isn't it... i have three kids and well.. now it's getting too physical...smiles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the thought from Bukowski and, yes, we birth those babies (aren't we brave!) and they emerge so different from us and one another. Do you share poetry with your children?

      Delete
  3. Yes, almost as if you are the medium through which the lines find their way out. But..out from where I wonder. From within ourselves, or deeper still, like humankind as a whole? Spooky in a way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From subterranean depths linked to all humankind and our ancestors. It's so vital to speak these truths.

      Delete
  4. This poem touched me...re-collection of ancestors echoes? My grandfather is Siksika Indian and he talks often of the echoes of those before. Great write!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I'd like your grandfather. All our ancestors existed to produce us and their wisdom is in our DNA. So we tune in and sing their song. Thank you for stopping by and allowing yourself to be touched.

      Delete
  5. "Sometimes they emerge whole cloth unbidden"

    ReplyDelete
  6. Where to start? I stumbled in here from dVerse and your banner photo is spectacular - if that is your view, you are one lucky woman! Loved your poem, especially about the poems that write themselves and leave us stupefied and wondering what happened! Since I parted with my former brain and entered Elder Brain Territory, that happens often enough to be completely disconcerting! It looks like you have a GLORIOUS life. Wow!!!!!! Way to dream!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The photo is taken from my balcony and I never tire of the view. My Honey and I transplanted to this little part of Italy three years ago to build an expanded life for ourselves. It's been that and glorious is a good word. I smiled at your description of parting with a former brain in elderhood. Oh yes! But I figure the changes are for a purpose (we don't need to remember all that stuff anyway!) I hope I'm a smoother conduit in the process. Welcome.

      Delete
  7. Wonderful piece--and I so agree--so many times I read an older poem and wonder where it came from, leaping out of the air, just using me as a transmitter, I think. Your ending is superb.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've had the same experience of reading something I wrote and being moved by it again and amazed. I also feel deeply grateful that I can sometimes get out of my own way to birth such a thing. Thanks for your generous praise.

      Delete
  8. yes, there are times it seems we are merely a conduit with no part in the writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Except to provide the muscle and bone and bravery. Good for us!

      Delete
  9. I can so much identify with this, especially the different ways that the poems come. It does seem thatbthey are part of the organism that is I, I agree. But your last lines are the best, and for me are the most magical. These are the times that I live for, the gift that comes from what seems a different realm. It's so wonderful to hear these things put into words, so precisely and transparently, as your poem does.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Yes, it's a gift from a different realm and my response is gratitude.

      Delete
  10. Yes!
    Sometimes only a poem can capture the enigma that hides in our soul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like how you put that, Rosaria. It is an enigma that poetry is both precisely specific and mysteriously general at the same time.

      Delete
  11. "Words jump hurdles without help to have themselves heard,"
    reminds me of an image that comes to me of a skeleton with dreams shaped like stick figures doing gymnastics along the rib cage. But seriously--I love the two "sometimes" before this third option and love the third option as well. I often just spill one out of the underflow, but then spend so much time playing with revision that I forget how they were born until I reread them later and cannot remember writing them! It's eerie/beuatiful, as if God is speaking through you, just as the work of our hands is often God's work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, we have hurdles they must jump. But, I love your image- there's a great fun poem ready to spring forth. Seriously though, we're all connected, to one another, to the ancestors, to divine wisdom. It's all the source… Thanks for coming by and commenting.

      Delete
  12. "Sometimes they flow from fingertips as if encoded in muscle and bone" this is so true. And I often felt they did indeed write themselves. I've woken to find five poems maybe one or two I scarcely remember writing and most close to publishable. Course I like my wine :/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The god bacchus, yet another source of inspiration! In Italy, where I now live, each region grows their own grapes and so had their own wine. I just thought that maybe each wine leads to different inspiration!

      Delete
  13. I've often thought that myself... I don't write the poems, I'm just the tool that gives them life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It takes bravery to do that so don't discount it!

      Delete
  14. hurdles...help....heard...lovely words to roll around in the mind and mouth...thankyou.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, another word lover! I read and re-read words because I love their feel and sound.

      Delete
  15. Well said, Mary. I like the idea that poems live out there just waiting for a door to open in our minds so they may pass through. That's such an intriguing thought.

    ReplyDelete
  16. sometimes they are compressed
    and we are speechless

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Truly and another intriguing thought!

      Delete
  17. It's a magical thing to write a poem - exactly as your wrote about. The words just waiting to spring to life! Thank you for this!!

    ReplyDelete

Let's chat.