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January, 2008


The Long Life Of Poetry
By  Stan Grimes

Poetry peers into the poet and reflects all of society at the time the poetry is written.
"Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping here,
To watch his woods fill up with snow"

You have probably already seen and appreciated this first stanza of Robert Frost's Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening. For me, the first time I read it was like discovering the taste of cotton candy – so sweet and delicate.

But what makes poetry so special? Is it the poet's talent? The poem's power to inspire? Or is it the reader's passionate response that is the core of poetry's sheer loveliness?

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you remember at least one poem or poet from younger years. How about this one: "I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree." Written by Sergeant Joyce Kilmer, Trees, I'm pretty sure, has touched every kid who ever picked up a schoolbook.

The following painfully honest words from Maya Angelou's poem Still I Rise haunt me always: "You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies, you may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I'll rise." To me, these words represent the resiliency of the human will . . . so very powerful.

And how can one forget Sylvia Plath's Daddy, which begins, "You do not do, you do not do any more, black shoe." Plath was such a gifted writer, yet troubled beyond our understanding.

How is it that we remember certain poems at the expense of others?  Perhaps it's something the poet said or how they said it. Or it could be a coincidence of recollection. For example, perhaps you just happened to be reading a particular poem while some life-altering event was happening outside your window; maybe you were studying Frost when the tragedy of 9/11 occurred. Or maybe you were studying Bronte when Kennedy was assassinated. I remember when Maya Angelou read her poem On The Pulse Of Morning at President Clinton's inaugural ceremony. And yes, I was alive (and watching) when Robert Frost read The Gift Outright at President Kennedy's inaugural ceremony 32 years prior. (By the way, Frost and Angelou are the only two poets that have had the honour of reading at presidential inaugurations.)

Now, you may be saying to yourself, "I have nothing quite as important as an inauguration on my agenda." But how do you know for sure? Further, the inspiration felt by a poet often stimulates the reader's inspiration as well. What you say in a few lines may have an affect on someone today or in years to come.

Still, no poets, including all the names I've mentioned, begin a poem with the idea that spiritual or intellectual prosperity may be gained from the meagre words they have written. After all, Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address in about two minutes on a small piece of paper. And yet that brief glow of inspiration has and will continue to have an everlasting affect on Americans.

Perhaps that is what's so special about poetry as well – once it inspires, that inspiration lives eternally.IN Icon

Stan Grimes is a graduate from Indiana University and works in the real world as a social worker. He has written a number of articles for the American Chronicle and, has numerous poems and short stories published in various anthologies and on his website at AuthorsDen and has three science fiction/suspense thriller novels out. His latest, Deacon, can be found at Double Dragon Publishing Inc.

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© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049

IN This Issue
The Long Life Of Poetry
Marketplaces For Your Poetry
Haiku: Highest Art
What Am I Doing Wrong?
Lyrically Speaking
Writing Poems
The Mind Of A Poet
A Poem Is A Little Path
Seeing Like A Poet
Speaking In Tongues (Excerpt)

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Bald Ego
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Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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