Yesterday in class, I had my students write ten-line poems about what a poem is or is not. Then we read Charles Wright’s “New Poem” together. I did not bring my journal home with me to record my own poem here, but here’s another sort of like it.
after Charles Wright’s “The New Poem”
This poem will not wander through your dreams calling your name until dawn
This poem will not bake you a pumpkin pie with cloves and cinnamon
This poem will not sit down with you at the table and tell you stories of its childhood
It will not ensure that your candidate is elected
It will not remember your birthday or help you with the dishes
This poem will not tell you where this wind was born
Nor will it offer you a map to the city
This poem will not hold your hand through the time of fever
It will not care for your children when you must work late
It will not fill your gas tank or even buy you a doughnut
This poem might remember your name when you visit for tea
This poem might compliment your diction
This poem might make a comment on the sublime blue of the sky
It might remind you to call your sister
It might turn into a little bird and fly away
1. Small boy is awake and waiting to be read to before we go off to our different days
2. Gifted young actors on a stage. If you are in the Lancaster area, you ought to check out The Crucible at LMH tonight or tomorrow. It’s not a cheery play, but it will change you. It will move you.
4. Opening spaces
May we walk in Beauty!