Conversation With My Poem

Often once I begin a poem, I find that poem and I begin a conversation between the two of us.  I have talked to other writers about this, read even well-known writers’ observations of this.  Again, each of us has our own writing life, our own interaction with a piece.  I sometimes wonder whether we who engage in such conversations are in the minority or majority. The poem begins to guide its own development, with my cooperation, of course.  I think it’s that the act of writing draws from within us things we know and feel and ponder.  It’s a mystery, perhaps mystical at times.  All that lies within us crystalizes into the words and pattern that form a meaning for us.  As I’ve spoken of before, we write what we think we know and feel, and in the writing we learn what we know and feel.  Often we end up in a place we never planned or expected.  Yet instinctively we know we have found some kind of truth, some insight.  Then we want to share.  We send forth our words and hope they find a reader who finds their own understanding.   In a separate post today, I am sending my poem Night Talk With a Poem.  I tend to write into the late hours much of the time.  One night as I sat at my desk puzzling over another poem, this one just came to me, amorphous but distinct from the poem I was working on which I thought I had finished, but realized had not found its meaning.  The new poem was actually a mediator for my conversation with the one I was working on. It was a strange and lovely experience. It expresses exactly how I feel during my interaction with a piece as I write.  At some point I feel that the poem begins to write itself.  It is actually one of my favorite poems.

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