Thursday, May 11, 2017

"Breathing Poetry" by John C. Mannone, Frequent Contributor

Breathing Poetry 
Fill your paper
with the breathings
of your heart.
—William Wordsworth
 
She said she’s hoping
to learn how to write
poetry by osmosis.

I said conjure the words
within your open mind
from its convolutions
and recesses to the tips
of your lips, then deeply,
deeply breathe them in
through your skin until 
your pen can feel its
quiver in the inkwell
of your heart. Slowly
exhale those words
on paper as if grisaille.
Color every stroke. Do
not miss the dotted i’s
and swiftly crossed t’s. 
When all those words
are read, then breathe
them in again—the ink
—for another dose of air.
--John C. Mannone
Poet’s Notes: Many of the ars poetica poems show the frustration of writing or even analyzing a poem (see Billy Collins’ poem, “Introduction to Poetry”). Even Robert Frost said a poem is what’s lost in the translation. So here’s a different type—one that lifts up the process. Hopefully it will inspire you to write instead of providing reasons not to.


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