May 18, 2013

Play Poem to Ponder

I love language, and I am drawn to those who love its slippery, sinuous beauty. Words are tricky things. Gregory Rabassa says that words acquire meanings as barnacles, each person associating cultural and personal experience to the meaning-weight of a word. There is a word's meaning, but there is also the inherent music of language. Long tones of vowel punctuated with bursts of consonants create a rhythm. Good story tellers know this. They write for the meaning, but they also write for how the words and phrases sound, how they taste when you say them, how much stretch they have for the emotion you bring to them.

As part of my lingual love, I write poetry. I didn't try to. Some days, I don't want to. I've never taken a poetry class and, for all I know, may do everything wrong.

When I write a poem, it's usually out of the overflow of an emotion or direction of thought. Once a week I have the bliss of several hours of solitude. Sometimes when that time goes well, I can respond in some way to what I've thought or written in my journal. More often than not, when the muses are kind, the response takes the form of blank verse (verse with no inherent rhyme or defined meter).

This last week I started my solitude mulling a phrase that occurred to me while listening to my children get lost in their play. "There is no idea in childhood but dreaming makes it so."

I liked the rhythm and consideration in it. In just a few minutes with a whiteboard, I mused some more on our loss of play as adults and what a fall I consider it to be:

There is no hope in childhood
but dreaming makes it so
Reality just a lean away
from dragon wonderlust
Grown ups learn to factor
      & figure
against the odds of ideal
In losing child-like thought
Enchantment's gates rust
And all-uncomprehending,
we beggar our trust

I leave it for you to ponder as well.

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