My friend, Marla Wolfe, is participating in this year’s Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) in her own unique way. She is composing a poem for each of the thirty days. She is sharing her poems with me at the end of each day. I was particularly blown away with this poem from Day 3. She has graciously consented to let me post it here. Thank you, Marla.
How to kill a poem
by Marla Wolfe
Yesterday I killed a poem.
It wasn’t pretty.
Everything started innocently enough, though.
I followed my usual routine:
Pondering, listing, researching,
Referencing, organizing, adjusting,
Working out all the details.
After several drafts
Something beautiful came into focus –
It was unique, naturally patterned, real –
But then I went too far:
I added meter and rhyme.
I poked at the poem, prodded it,
Stuffed that full-grown being
Into a neat little cocoon
Of eight syllables per line,
Dropping emotion to make it fit,
Erasing color, adding artificiality.
And before I knew it,
The poem was dead –
No movement, no flutter of life.
Flat on the table.
For a moment I stared at it in disbelief,
Sick with awareness of what I’d done.
Then in a panic I snatched away its burden.
It raised its wings, revived. A miracle.
I opened the window and set it free.
©Marla Wolfe, 2015
I love the ending!
My 14-year-old daughter has been writing a lot of poetry for English class this year, and some of it blows me away. I don’t know much about poetry, but when you like it, you like it.
Quite lovely and…unfortunate to say…I know exactly what she means.
Thanks Don, for sharing Marla’s poem. My favorite line, “everything started innocently enough, though.” So true!
Awesome is so overused but that’s exactly what this is!
I’m honored to be featured on your blog, Don. Thank you! 🙂
Thanks for letting me post your poem.
Says one poet about another.