Glass house can’t exclude
your fresh, sweet regard stirring
my desire for more.
by J.D. Grubb
24 May, 2013
* * *
Read those three lines once more, only slower.
Now read them a third time, slower still.
It takes discipline, but I was taught that poetry needs to be read a few times in a row. Even then, understanding is not guaranteed. More than prose, there is a purpose hidden in the intentionality of the few words used. There is rhythm in the grammatical structure. There is meaning in the spaces between.
Honestly, I have not delved deep into the world of poetry. I have given more of myself to the novel. Yet poetry has always held a stirring appeal. Its nimble purity. Its naked thought and emotion. Naked, though not utterly revealed. Through patient repetition, as well as an open and careful attentiveness, the reader may discover the heart of the idea - the message the poet wishes to give. This is true for the writer as well. Furthermore, by journeying through a collection of works, one may even learn something of the poet's soul.
I believe that while much of this is true with the literary novelist as well, a difference may be that a poem is more like a photograph while a novel is more like a film. Is that a fair analogy? Both require different sensibilities from both creator and recipient. They need to be examined differently. The expectation should not necessarily be the same.
For example, more so than the novel, a poem takes a reader into a moment. If I care about such things, I examine into what that moment offers as though, for a while, there is nothing else around me. It is like looking through a microscope, perhaps. Or in the more dramatic instances, like staring into the eyes of another person. Those eyes do not reveal the person's whole story. Or, at least I do not have the discernment to know the whole story through that gaze. But they do offer something of that person - a message, a language - even if it is just reflected in a moment. A photograph captures an instance of light and perspective that may not be repeatable, or at least is rare considering the myriad of variables influencing it. It is difficult to express. Therein lies the writer's potential. Alongside other mediums, poem is part of the journey to understand what I am witnessing in life. It is one way to try to make sense of it all.
But I digress into more wandering prose than are appropriate for such a discussion.
What I would like to know is what you think the haiku above is about? I want to tap into your conscious for a moment. Like with a Rorschach Test, I am curious to know what you see - what the words rouse in your thoughts? (This is, of course, assuming that you even find the poem interesting or good in the first place.)
Should you find this subject engaging, I would, furthermore, welcome the challenge of writing a few more poems for you. But I would appreciate your help. What do you find alluring about a poem, if anything? What subject?