Why I Write Poetry

Why I Write Poetry
by Theodora Goss

If I didn’t commit this crime
of putting words on paper one after the other
that either do or do not rhyme,
that have a surreptitious rhythm
and make a kind of sense
or perhaps nonsense
depending on whether it’s Thursday —
if I didn’t choose to play
in this particular puddle, splashing myself
all over the pavement, embarrassing
myself in front of your eyes —
I believe the words would build up
in my brain, and it would explode
like a bomb filled with clouds, mountains,
oak forests in which owls fly silently through the night,
the sight of wild geese overhead, the sound
of snow falling from overladen fir branches onto snow,
lakes that reflect the sky between shards
of floating ice, wolves howling at the moon,
mushrooms growing on an old log,
Autumn dancing with red and yellow leaves in her hair,
bare branches against the sky forming a rune
I do not understand, time itself,
and an undefinable longing.
Forgive me for committing, repeatedly,
the act of poetry. I’ve trying not to disintegrate
or make a mess.

(The image is Jeune Fille Ecrivant by Berthe Morisot.)

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