Where do ideas for poems come from?
Poems find their beginnings in the intensity of an emotion, whether brought on by a trauma or a moment of pure elation. Poems evolve out of words with multiple meanings, a funny situation, or random events that lead to a new experience, a discovery, or a friendship. Some poems come from a phrase, a comparison of two unlike things, a photograph in a family album, the imaginings of life within a painting by Renoir or Salvador Dali.
Ideas for poems exist around us and inside of us.
As I wondered about the poem I would write to share with you today, I hoped to choose a single memory to explore, but a myriad of moments played out in fragments. I brought them together into a list poem and discovered I had, in fact, given myself many jump off places for more poems. Not all poetry must rhyme, some pieces reveal guarded secrets, share feelings and impressions, offer encouragement, or tell of serendipitous encounters through a pure and raw outpouring of words.
THESE ARE MINE
Some memories were born beneath the waning moon
while others glided along a river through the surreal quiet of a cave.
at the top of the Rockies,
swam amidst the fluttering fins of a school of fish,
rescued the forgotten,
cared for the injured,
released that which was born wild
back into the wild,
witnessed untouchable freedom,
was held captive in the eyes of a wolf,
longed to slow time,
forgot how to breathe
when the sun’s rays set the Grand Canyon on fire,
wept at the long-awaited birth
of my daughter,
broke at the death
of my father.
and given up
for an hour
or the passage of a day
before believing again.
Other memories I have never held,
though I have thought about them so often
they feel nearly real.
These are mine.
Leslie Leibhardt Goodman
Until next Monday