Sunday, April 20, 2014

How to Read a Poem

What I want to say is
you can't rinse and stack a poem.
You have to let your hands
slip across the page.
Wrap the rhythm round your fist
and plunge into the lines.
Turn the words until the stains
of last night's tea are gone.
Get between the tines.
Feel the sharp knives inside the soapy sea.
Wash, rinse, and hold it to the light.
Let it shine like finest crystal.
I want to say
a poem must be scrubbed
before you place it on the shelf
like last night's news. 

Rub it. Read it clean;
Read it, feel it, repeat.


  1. What a wonderful bit of advice for both reader and writer. I am finally learning to slow down a bit.

  2. I love where you went this this. Cool write.

  3. I agree with you. There's definitely a need to polish our work before we present it. No trace of the artist is one maxim that can serve us all well.

  4. I love the creative way of writing poem ~ I think we all recognize that scrubbing and hearing them are needed but not too much scrubbing though that the original flavor is gone ~


  5. Very good way of putting that scrubbing your poem, several of mine are still on rinse cycle :)

  6. This is great.
    And actually quite true. Each poem needs revision and polishing. I like the images you use, with the washing up [= doing the dishes].

  7. a little bit of scrubbing will do...nice words

  8. What a great poem about writing poetry!!!!!

  9. ah.. yes so it should be.. alas.. I tend to write an scribble... never scrub or change.

  10. Hi Karen, very true... With Best Wishes Scott

  11. A surprising and effective comparison! Not just washing and stacking the dishes, but eating the meal as well. I truly enjoyed this.

  12. Excellent, a very good extended metaphor for creativity