Notes on How to Read a Poem

It is such a foolish mis-
Conception to think that words
Tell us what they mean. That
To read is to read about what:
We see. That

Words do not
Fall apart and
That we must see
This breakage and wreck-
Age if we
Want to
Know what a thing
Really: means. It’s

The words. The moments
Of shadows and sunlight spilling
Down the sides of distant
Hills that we catch just as an after-
Thought as we round the bend by the
Tree that was broken by the lightning
Bolt out of clouds that screen what
We just can’t see. I see

That to know we must see
What we can’t see when words
Hold too tightly together.
Too solid. Too firm. Rather

Celebrate the bro-
Ken the way we
Push words aside to see
That ancient light lurking
Somewhere within…

14 thoughts on “Notes on How to Read a Poem

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) October 16, 2016 / 4:12 pm

    This is exactly how it is..
    How you liken poetry to the spaces between the trees, the spaces, the pauses. Yes that’s where poetry hides.


  2. Sherry Blue sky October 16, 2016 / 4:56 pm

    I love that pushing aside of the words, to find that ancient light within.


  3. Susan October 16, 2016 / 4:58 pm

    LOVE! Perceptive, poetic, and much more specific than Leonard Cohen’s “Forget your perfect offering / thre is a crack in everything ….” I’m keeping this to read again often!


  4. jae rose October 16, 2016 / 6:31 pm

    So clever to unpick this poem – it makes me think that the essence of any thought word, or feeling means the most when we don’t think about it too much – just let it tell its story inside us and each who reads has a different light..and dark


  5. Rall October 16, 2016 / 8:10 pm

    The moments of shadows and sunlight spilling down the side of distant hills that we catch just as an after thought…There is a beautiful sadness in this image . I suppose we all interpret poems differently and solid tight words can hide a splintering if we bother to delve behind them. Another thought provoking poem with a touch of the ethereal. I always feels as if I am gliding when I read your lovely ,gentle, airborne poems.

    Hope you are keeping well and planning lots more travel adventures:)


  6. magicofwordsblog October 16, 2016 / 10:05 pm

    Celebrate the bro-Ken ~ yes, that light within will help to heal.


  7. Wendy Bourke October 16, 2016 / 10:17 pm

    This is a thoughtful and thought provoking piece. “Between The words. The moments Of shadows and sunlight spilling Down the sides of distant Hills …..” Yes – that is it. You’ve captured it perfectly.


  8. Truedessa October 16, 2016 / 10:25 pm

    it takes a special eye to read between the lines, to feel, touch and taste the poetry of life


  9. Mary October 16, 2016 / 11:31 pm

    So true. Sometimes what is said with words is not as important as what is not said. Sometimes it is the unsaid that is the truest message, but one has to read carefully in order to find it. Your poem speaks truth!


  10. ZQ October 17, 2016 / 1:43 am

    Very interesting…


  11. Sanaa Rizvi October 17, 2016 / 10:02 am

    Beautiful!! This calls for countless readings 💖


  12. annell4 October 17, 2016 / 3:10 pm

    A perfect thought. I have always loved what is in-between….what really matters, can be found there.


  13. Rosemary Nissen-Wade October 20, 2016 / 9:50 pm

    Yes! And nicely illustrated with the enjambments.


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