Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Last Day of Poetry Month

Carl Sandburg's ten definitions of poetry -- and each one is a poem in itself.

1. Poetry is a projection across silence of cadences arranged to break the silence with definite intentions of echoes, syllable, wave lengths.

2.Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air.

3. Poetry is a series of explanations of life, fading off into horizons too swift for explanations.

4. Poetry is a search for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and the unknowable.

5. Poetry is a theorem of a yellow-silk handkerchief knotted with riddles, sealed in a balloon tied to the tail of a kite flying in a white wind against a blue sky in spring.

6. Poetry is the silence and speech between a wet struggling root of flower and a sunlit blossom of that flower.

7. Poetry is the harnessing of the paradox of earth cradling life and then entombing it.

8. Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away.

9.Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits.

10. Poetry is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess about what is seen in a moment.

As I read these, trying to decide which was my favorite (2, or maybe 5, or possibly 6, oh, wait, 9), it seemed to me that each of these would work equally well as a definition for Life itself.

NOTICE! Today is the last day to leave a comment and ask to be entered in the drawing for the quilt book. Contest closes at 9 pm EST -- winner announced tomorrow.


Carol Murdock said...

Carl Sandburg, isn't he just the best? I'm going to visit his home next week!

Vicki Lane said...

Sandburg's home in Flat Rock has been preserved as if he'd just stepped out for a moment -- down to the stuff in the wastebaskets and the clothes in the closets. It's pretty amazing.

And be sure to go see the goats!

Tess Kincaid said...

Oh, I love number five. And two is the runner up!

Count me in on the quilt book!

vicki archer said...

I am realizing that I just do not know enough about poetry. xv

Vicki Lane said...

Your name is in the hat, Willow!

And Vicki A. -- check out my friend Kay Byer's blog HERE, WHERE I AM(over on my blog list). Kay is the Poet Laureate of North Carolina and she posts beautiful, accessible poetry -- her own and others.

And thanks for stopping by! I'm getting ready to go meander around your blog, which looks fascinating!

Reader Wil said...

Poetry is very personal and sometimes incomprehensible especially in foreign languages. I like poetry, but I must get a good feeling reading it. A feeling of beauty and the right rhythm.
Thanks for sharing, Vicki!
Thanks for your comment on the tragedy which happened in the Netherlands today!

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

I don't know, Vicki. None of these turn me on as much as some by Mary Oliver. She has some really resonant comments about the mystery of poetry. Now, thank you for directing your readers to my blog. Today I have a gorgeous hog on it. I just love this pig. I wish I had at least one of her/him in my backyard. And of course I had to have a poem to go along with it! K.

Vicki Lane said...

Reader Wil -- I admire anyone who can appreciate poetry in a language not their own.

Kay -- the hog on your blog is a beaut! And your poem, as always, is too!

Victoria said...

I like them all, but I think I like number 10 best as a metaphor for life.

Vicki Lane said...

Too true, Victoria, and the older I get, the truer it seems.