Everyman's Life is designed as a resting place for my new poetry. I had stopped writing poetry for more than 20 years. At one time, many moons ago I had a box of it from when I was very young. I also had a different life and was quite a different person (in a way) and never thought of myself before those twenty years had come, as anybody who wouldn't just sit around and write poetry pretty regularly.
So when I started back a few years ago, I had become pretty proficient on a computer. What I discovered was that I was rusty on poetry. Some pieces came easily but I really wanted to try to revert to a style which I hadn't really used since I was very very young. Like my earliest poetry before I was even 11 or 12 was all rhyming poetry.
I decided there was a reason rhyming poetry was enduring. It is because it is musical and is memorable, as much for the sound and alliteration, as for the actual words or theme. Obviously, rhyming poetry is quite out of vogue. Certain people who aren't extremely literate (I mean that by the truest definition, i.e. someone who doesn't read much poetry ((that includes me))--) may think poetry usually rhymes. But take it from me, if you were to poll 100 people who spend much time with writing poetry now, a very large percentage would think rhyming poetry is very passe.
Still knowing all that, I took a stab at some rhyming poetry. As I look at it now, I have actually forgiven myself. You see there was a time after I had written it that I was very embarrassed about it. So I beat myself up over it. Hey, I stopped writing rhyming poetry before junior high. By high school I was already a poetry snob. I was so deluded that I thought I had skill enough to proclaim my independence from tradition.
Now I wish to tell everyone, including the 99% of poets who think poetry shouldn't rhyme and if it rhymes then it isn't good poetry, Go to Hell. Go to Hell if you judge poetry on the basis of meter or rhyme or existence of or lack of existence of alliteration. Go to Hell if you judge poetry period. If you enjoy poetry--Congratulations. If you like to write poetry--"May I have this dance?"
If you like some poetry and don't like other--welcome to your mind--it is extremely unique...your mind I mean. But my point is, the reason a poem is good is if it is written to communicate a feeling. Period. That's it. Technique is up to the artist. But presence or absence of art is the kicker. How good the art is is totally subjective.
More is more or less--LESS. Less is much much MORE
Learning to add is the easiest of math.
Subtraction is harder by far.
Our cups will level off by evaporation.
But that requires that we learn to stop filling.
Stopping is a great start.
Removing is the second step.
Finding ourselves is the reward.
Seeking the reward is filling again.
And thus no prize will come of it.
Even finding the reward requires that we look
with new eyes.
Finding ourselves looking is walking backwards.
Holding your breath leads to death.
Exhaustion leads to illness.
Stopping may lead to rest.
Staying at rest is key.
Less means less than not seeing the difference.
The center between more and less holds no space.
The passageway works because of what is not there.
What is there prevents us from finding the passage.
Therefore we learn to subtract in order to find more.
The Poet Laureate of Congress, Kay Ryan, seems an unlikely role model for the advancement of poetry. Not that she isn't "on board," with promoting poetry. Just mostly that she isn't a joiner or a promoter type. She's the SPIRIT of poetry. She's a...well, poet, after all. Poetry doesn't have to be boring or stodgy or extremely difficult to understand. It can be like a song, or the sound of nature. I'm with Kay Ryan as far as not wanting to declare myself a poet. But I do enjoy it. We who find ourselves in this spot sort of thrive on "imagining" that there are readers out there who also enjoy reading. Thanks for showing up. Hope you have lots of things to celebrate!