Birth of a Poem

I don’t often write poetry. It takes a different sort of mindset and brilliance to pull off poetry properly. Jennie Saia is one of my favourite poets — and she’s not prolific, either, which is, I think, why it’s a special thing when she writes something like this. This is just beautiful, and made my day brighter. I wish I had her gift for metaphor — this whole piece is so flawlessly constructed. Magical.

Tip of My Tongue

I once heard of a poetess
whose ideas blossom in her gut
like unplanned pregnancies.

She often goes for a ramble
“to clear her head.”
In the green of the woods,
her poetic water breaks.

Damp with rushing images,
she turns on her newly fertile heel
and waddles toward home.
Creativity is a fickle lover
with powerful seed.

With legs emerging first,
her breech inspiration
wiggles its toes between her thighs.
Horrified, invigorated,
she scrambles over hills and
down trails.

The worst agony comes
when she glimpses her house from afar.
She can picture her writing desk,
the open notebook waiting
like a midwife’s careful hands
to catch.

Her words must be swaddled in paper
before their first breath.
The ink they absorb like milk
will give them voice to declare,
“Life!”
with lusty cries.

And always, always
there is this race to the
beginning.

If a poem bursts forth…

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2 responses to “Birth of a Poem

  1. You honoUr me. You really do – so much that I used the “u,” see?

    I think this is the second time you’ve said such nice things about me and my writing that I feel I’ve been given an actual hug.

    • If I were to write a review about you, I would say that it’s your respect for the craft of writing that impresses me. like I said you aren’t a prolific writer. Some people write and write and write and maybe 30% of what they write is excellent. When you publish something like this, the sheer amount of thought and work that has gone into it shows. Greedily, I want more – but with the way you work, that’s like asking Strativarius to crank out ten violins a day. Or “hey , Monet! How about another ten gardens this week, huh?”
      You have a gift. Don’t ever doubt it.

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