NPM – 12 of 30

the role of poet

I’m never sure how to respond when someone says, “Your poem made me cry.”

Thank you?

But I get it. I cry myself sometimes in writing certain pieces. Still, it is usually not my intention to make readers cry, but to feel, to make it more than just words on a page. To embody a heart’s screaming beats, a mind’s terrible truths, a soul’s feathery weight.

Writing about my father’s death, or anyone’s, is not new territory in poetry. It might be for me, but I am not the first, nor will I be the last to use this uncommonly ordinary
event for healing, for processing.

In fact, just the other day, I received a new book of poems I had ordered. I didn’t know anything about the book, but I was familiar with the poet’s name, and know that several poets I know are friends of hers. The book is about her mother’s death. And the poems
are beautiful, sad, visceral, real.

I was suddenly overwhelmed with the knowledge that I will probably never be a Very Important Poet. I mean to my family, some of my friends, maybe yes, but to the greater world, and especially to the relatively small yet wide poetry community, most likely no.

But then I told myself it didn’t matter. My poems are (usually) meaningful to me, to a handful of others, maybe to a group who doesn’t make poetry part of their daily lives I am the absolute best poet they’ve ever heard.

This very poem is maybe not really a poem.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. josefa says:

    I love everything you write. It makes me know you better in a different form than a mother daughter way.

  2. Sandy says:

    You’re adorable.

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