Wednesday, October 20, 2010


"Saul Bellow, who won the Nobel for literature in 1976, was said to have grown wistful every October after that, because you can only win it once."
—Adam Gopnik, in the Oct. 18 New Yorker

Prose Poet David Shumate on Writing Poetry

Poetry is a strange endeavor. You go snooping about. Sticking your nose into other people's business. Turning your soul inside out. Then you huddle over a paper for hours to give voice to what you have learned, and in the words of the great Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, ". . . try to find words that are better than silence."

# # #

I seek words and images that possess the honesty of stones. Of water.

I want the poem to glow in the dark.

# # #

Sometimes, as the pieces of a poem are taking shape, I feel momentarily whole. As if the senses, the mind, the intellect, the ego, and some spiritual core have fallen into synchrony.

This is a seductive feeling. I return the next morning hoping a poem will lead me there again.

I hope the poem conducts the reader on a similar journey.

— from Making Poems: Forty Poems with Commentary by the Poets, edited by Todd Davis & Erin Murphy