Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How To Write A Poem

How To Write A Poem

1. Be born.

2. Sit quietly, with your eyes closed and feel your heart beating against the inside of your body, as if it is knocking to get out.

3. Look through a magnifying glass, draw a map, paint a picture of what you want to say.

4. If you don’t know what you want to say, study the thin place where the sky meets the earth. Think about everything that line contains.

5. Use your eyes, your fingers, your hips, to carve out a shape.

6. If it is airtight, light a candle below it, fill it with hot air, and let it rise. If it is not, let it roam where it wants.

7. Tell it it is beautiful before it goes.

© JEF 2012


Caroline said...

This is wonderful.

Jeff said...


This poem had been rattling around my head for a month or so (like so many of my poems), and I wrote it in two sittings yesterday and the day before.

I have about six or seven other poems currently marinating. Not sure when they will be done marinating... I just keep testing for "doneness" and see where I am...