a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway
I especially love the lines "pay attention, then patch/a few words together and don't try/to make them elaborate..." because it reminds me to keep it simple and just get what I want to say down on paper. I tend to over-analyze things and make them more complicated than they are. That kind of thinking keeps me stuck not only in my writing, but also in teaching and in other areas of my life.
I also like the lines "this isn't/a contest but the doorway..." I'm not seeking fame or forunte with my writing. For me, writing is a doorway to learn about myself, keep memories alive, and connect with others.
I jotted this list of lessons poetry has taught me so far.
What I've Learned From Poetry
Look, listen, feel.
Say what you mean.
Speak from your heart.
Wait for the words.
Believe they will come.
Thank them when they do.
Tell your truth.
Learn from them.
Embrace your voice.
But most importantly—
Celebrate the joy!
So what has poetry taught you? Leave me a comment and share your own poetry lessons.
I never know how much of a poem I can print without interfering with copyright, so you can read the last lines of Mary Oliver's lovely poem here.
Ready for more Slices of Life? You can find a plateful here.
Then head on over to Dori Reads for Poetry Friday.