Wednesday, October 20, 2010

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."

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

I want the poem to glow in the dark.

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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

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