Recipe to make a poet

Recipe to make a poet:

  • 1 part love of language
  • 2 parts observational skills
  • Equal parts clown, philosopher and quester
  • heaping scoops of curiosity
  • pinch of pain
  • dash of stuff that leaves scars
  • an ounce or ten of the stuff that ‘builds character’
  • level serving of courage

mix in tears and sweat until a soft dough forms

put dough under pressure until it is compact

roll out until thin enough to see the words through

Allow dough to rest and reform to an organic shape

Bake in real life, with variations of hot to warm, and

periodically freeze, thaw and toss around.

Leave it to rest and pull apart to reveal poetry.

And what is left is the poet. Put this in a warm place.

Let it rise again and create more poetry.

~

Poets are like grandma’s mystery dough.

Lots of cool stuff with no real measure

except to do it until it looks or feels

just about right. Then add a pinch for

luck. Good luck, bad luck or no luck.

 

Each scar says, “I survived”. Each tear

says, “the wound is washed clean” and

each word born into a poem is alive

and stays alive as long as the poetry

is read, even after the poet has gone

and returned to dust, their pages

brittle and their hard drives dated.

~

I remember typing on my mother’s old typewriter.

I remember typing in the dark, each word so formed.

Click, click, click, space, space – hard return. Space.

I remember hand written pages, bound with a red

ribbon. I remember a first professionally printed book.

Each book mark a hand placed ribbon. Each poem

a pedigree. A footnote. A place in my heart that never

seemed to get crowded with them, but grew and grew.

Now the poems come faster than I can catch them.

And some days they don’t come at all. Those days

are the most frightening – have I lost my senses?

Have I lost my words? Then I rub an aching scar.

Then I see an old photo. Or touch a page. Read a

blog of someone’s poetry. And the muse is back.

~

A photographer takes the photos, catches the moments.

A poet is the one who writes the story on the back of

those moments in time. For one to see, for many or

sometimes none. Each blink a snapshot, a 1000 words.

Each 1000 words boils down, breaks down into what?

Poetry! The words that fill the spaces between each

photo in the stack. The words that fill the spaces.

~

Anthony has us talking about evolving as poets, our process or what makes us the poets we are today.  I don’t remember a time when I didn’t think in poetry or wish to capture the words in a certain order or frame to make the images in my mind visible in word form. In photo, and in word, it is a part of the fabric of me.  My husband used to say, and still does, if you want to know who I am read my poetry. I’m pretty open about things in poetic form!  Enjoy, and stop by dVerse to see what the other amazing poets have shared. And share your own. And leave some love. Be a part of our community in an interactive way. 

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37 Comments

  1. Brian Miller said,

    March 4, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    each scar is def a reminder that we survived…i found myself chuckling a bit in reading this…thinking of my own evolution…of things that have gone into each piece…and how i write and …i am pretty straight forward myself…so if you want to know me….read me…smiles.

    • shanyns said,

      March 8, 2014 at 2:14 am

      🙂 Yes you are my friend, and it is refreshing! Glad you enjoyed it. As always, it is great to have you come over.

  2. Kenia Cris said,

    March 4, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    This is true magic, thanks for sharing your secret recipe. 🙂 Have you kept any ingredient secret? Will I successfully have a poet if I follow your instructions?

    This is truly beautiful. I missed coming here.

    Kiss. ❤

    • shanyns said,

      March 8, 2014 at 2:15 am

      There is one secret ingredient: Love. You have to love the words, the way they feel, sound and shape as they flow. Then you’ll have a poet for sure! 🙂 Glad you came by, missed having you!

  3. Glenn Buttkus said,

    March 4, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Poetry it seems for most of us is a state of word log jams, & they are legion; a lifetime of discovering them, re-discovering them, sculpting them, and I’m sure we’ll find more word jams waiting for the next lifetime to be liberated; a fine massive effort, rocking the prompt.

    • shanyns said,

      March 8, 2014 at 2:16 am

      Thanks Glenn…it was fun and I got on rather a roll! 🙂

  4. johncoyote said,

    March 4, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    I like the thoughts on how to make a writer. I agree with your logic.

  5. March 4, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    click, click, click – space, hard return…love your recipe!

    • shanyns said,

      March 8, 2014 at 2:17 am

      Thank you! I was remembering, fondly, my old manual typewriter. I love the sound of keys making words. Music to my ears!

  6. Abhra Pal said,

    March 4, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    A lovely piece – I love it how you bring poetry and photography together – I love the effect immensely.

    And the fun recipe – that’s just great. I don’t think anyone else took that approach 🙂

    • shanyns said,

      March 8, 2014 at 2:18 am

      Awww thanks! As soon as I read the prompt it came to me – a recipe! 🙂

  7. March 4, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    “Poets are like grandma’s mystery dough.

    Lots of cool stuff with no real measure

    except to do it until it looks or feels

    just about right. Then add a pinch for

    luck. Good luck, bad luck or no luck.” love this…

    it reminds me of how a lot of my fam doesn’t measure when they cook and it comes out great, I used to wonder how they did it when I was little… but now I see, you just know… same with poetry, it should never be forced, you just know. great write!

    • shanyns said,

      March 8, 2014 at 2:18 am

      Yeah you just know. It’s strange, in writing and in cooking. But when you have a feel for it you just know.

  8. grapeling said,

    March 5, 2014 at 12:06 am

    brilliant, Shan! ~

  9. Grace said,

    March 5, 2014 at 12:55 am

    Creative use of recipe Shanyn ~ The words are actually everywhere ~

    • shanyns said,

      March 8, 2014 at 2:20 am

      They are, aren’t they? Catching and using them is the trick though, isn’t it?

  10. billgncs said,

    March 5, 2014 at 1:27 am

    in doing – we mix the ingredients of poetry – or watch others do so

  11. March 5, 2014 at 1:27 am

    Why am I not surprised that you, lovely lady, came up with something so deliciously domestic. What a great idea!

    • shanyns said,

      March 8, 2014 at 2:21 am

      Awww thanks Victoria! You just made me smile and smile!

  12. ayala said,

    March 5, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Creative and wonderful 🙂

  13. wolfsrosebud said,

    March 5, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    you’ve showed us it’s a progression… never really finishes…thanks for the pinch of salt

    • shanyns said,

      March 8, 2014 at 2:22 am

      It doesn’t end. It is a living thing, this poetry, and we just keep adding, taking away, pressing and rising as we go. Glad you enjoyed this!

  14. Akila said,

    March 5, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    A 1000 words of silence…speaks volumes isnt it? the journey from copius flow to sometimes nothing! oh i know how frightening it could be. love your recipe def. like grandma’s magic potions!

  15. March 5, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Oh .what a great set of ingredients… I definitely like what your analyzis .. and that typewriter writing … wish I could have said I ever did anything like that.

    • shanyns said,

      March 8, 2014 at 2:23 am

      awww thanks Bjorn. One of my searches is to find an old typewriter so I can do some poetry on one again! Glad you enjoyed this.

  16. Hope said,

    March 5, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    ah! love it! fantastically creative!

  17. Yvonne Lewis said,

    March 7, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Genius recipe, enjoyed very much.
    Yvonne.

  18. Genuine Poetry said,

    March 9, 2014 at 6:09 am

    love this!!

  19. ManicDdaily said,

    March 13, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Super clever. Thanks. K .


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