Sometimes when we read a poem there’s an instant connection between us and the poet. Someone we’ve never met, maybe even never heard of, has managed a magical transformation of words into phrases into stanzas that reach into our heart, like the first rays of sunlight bathing the tips of tree branches in its yellow glow. In that moment we know we’ve found a treasure worth keeping.
In her poem “Wish”, Linda Sue Park captures this process perfectly:
by Linda Sue Park
For someone to read a poem
again, and again, and then,
having lifted it from page
to brain– the easy part—
cradle it on the longer trek
from brain all the way to heart.
From Tap Dancing on the Roof; Sijo Poems (Clarion, 2007)
Not every poem we read, and certainly not every poem we write, makes that journey. And yet, we soldier on. We keep reading, we keep writing, because, as Katherine Bomer reminds us, “the journey is everything.”
When I first read this poem by Robert Haas, I knew I’d found a treasure that made that journey.
“Stanzas for a Sierra Morning”
by Robert Haas
Looking for wildflowers, the white yarrow
With its deep roots for this dry place
And fireweed which likes disturbed ground.
There were lots of them, bright white yarrow
And the fireweed was the brilliant magenta
Some women put on their lips for summer evenings.
The water of the creek ran clear over creekstones
And a pair of dove-white plovers fished the rills
A sandbar made in one of the turnings of the creek.
You couldn’t have bought the sky’s blue.
Read the rest of the poem here.
Please be sure to visit Diane Mayr at Random Noodling for the Poetry Friday Roundup.