How to be a Poet (to remind myself)

I once took a University of Houston course via the TV - I taped the class since it aired around 3:00 am. The course was on Romantic poetry and after the professor read a few of my papers she e-mailed to say I had the mind of a poet. That comment surfaces in my mind every so often; I don't really understand it as I do not really understand poetry. However, I love both the professorial comment and poetry. The following poem speaks to me. I hope to learn to speak into a poem.

How to be a Poet by Wendell Berry

Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill—more of each
than you have—inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your work,
doubt their judgment.

Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
There are only sacred places
And desecrated places.

No comments: