The job of a poet is translating what he or she is experiencing into words. If it resonates with other people’s experience, allows them to identify with what’s in the poem in a way they could not have expressed as well with words, and gives them pleasure, then it’s a good poem.
While in NYC recently, my son commented on my m.o. as a poet, how I notice things, name and say what I’m experiencing at the time. So I wrote this simple haiku for him, a sort of job description.
Noticing … Naming … Saying
Job of a Poet
Case in point, when I was returning from Iowa City last week, I dropped in to see Sali. She was still in her bed; they hadn’t gotten her up yet for dinner. I held her hand and spoke to her, telling her how much I loved her. A part of me was noticing how I was feeling, what was happening within and between us. From that experience, I wrote this haiku for her.
The thrill of the heart
Holding hands and loving you
The peace that follows
I also posted a brilliant poem that Bill Graeser wrote about an unusual poet: What You May Not Know About Frankenstein.
And here is a poem about the experience of listening to Poetry – The Art of the Voice.
Both haiku were written May 18, 2015, in Fairfield, Iowa © Ken Chawkin