December 1, 2012

Poems that Connect

The writer Richard Rodriguez says, “The drama of the essay is the way the public life intersects with my personal and private life. It's in that intersection that I find the energy of the essay.”  This applies to poetry as well.  

Some poets write poems that are isolated, solipsistic.  It's true there is a way to write so personally that it becomes universal. I search for the crossings between public and private, between history and one life, between many and one.   I search for the edge, the shoreline, the stones. Footsteps have been washed away by waves and wind, but sometimes, in a spot protected from the elements, one appears. I measure it with my own foot.  I fit it into my own steps and inside walks the ghost. 

All of us walk in many worlds, the world of the past, the worlds of others, and the world of our own imagining.  There is the energy of the poem.  The path is difficult to find, sometimes it is broad and other times precipitous.   We climb to the place where we can gaze the greatest distance.