Day 2 National Poetry Month: The Poet

The Poet

I wonder where she finds the words
that flow from her pen
into her leather bound notebook
where pages once blank
bounce with lilting lines.

She wanders the world
with eyes wide open
searching for something
the rest of us
do not yet see.

Though poems try to escape her
she captures them,
piece by piece,
in tiny details,
in words sculpted with care.

Like the photographer
she sees with different eyes,
holds the image still,
for others to see,
just as she sees it.

Like the musician
she finds a rhythm,
speaks the truth,
in ways
we do not understand.

Like the artist
she captures color,
creates mood;
helping others to know
the beauty overlooked.

I want to walk beside her
as she spends her day
pursuing her poem,
words wandering through her world,
arranging and rearranging themselves.

It must be some kind of magic
as she waves her wand pen,
turning the ordinary
into something
never seen before.

© Cathy L. Mere, 2016

The Idea
Today's poem was inspired by a collision between a stop by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's blog and a book I am reading by Mary Oliver.  If you haven't stopped by Amy's blog to see her wanderings and wonderings for April you should go there now.  In Amy's recent post she was shared:

"I am looking to surprise myself with new inspiration daily.  This year, such inspiration will show up in my inbox each morning.  I will print it and carry each Wonderopolis Wonder around all day...and in the afternoon or evening, I will write and post the poem for the next day."  -Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
As I read her lines, I thought about the power of what she was saying.  It seems often a poem isn't just right there waiting to be written, but if we take an idea and wrestle with the words as we wander through the day the words eventually find their way to paper.  I had to smile at the image of Amy and poets around the world doing this very thing.

In A Poetry Handbook, Mary Oliver reminds us,
"A poem must have a necessary quality of detail - enough to sustain the reader's passage into the imagined world of the poem"  Mary Oliver, p. 93.  
It was the collision of this quote and the way Amy talked about finding her poem across her day that made me wonder about poets.  How do they find the magic in their words?   How do we find the "necessary quality of detail" in our poems?

Thinking About
I've been thinking about the chapters in Oliver's book, The Poetry Handbook, titled "Sound," "More Devices of Sound," and "The Line."  To oversimplify Oliver's advice, when writing poetry (so I'm thinking especially free verse and narrative poetry) we have think about the way words work together.  How do they propel readers forward and slow them down?  How do we make lines dance and create rhythm in our poem?  Consonants, vowels, syllables, and sounds do change the way a poem is read by others.  I've been trying to think about considering her advice to help readers move with ease across parts of the poem, and slow down in other parts of the poem.

It's National Poetry Month!  I will be joining others across the blogosphere to attempt to write a poem every day during the month of April.  You'll find other great poetry stops in my sidebar.  


  1. So many things in the mind of a poet!!! I love how you turn the ordinary statement into the extraordinary .

  2. I had Amy in mind as I read this poem. I'd love to get in her brain and see how she crafts her poems! She's a miracle!

  3. My favorite image is the poet spending her day pursuing her poem. I so often feel that way about a piece of writing--I'm chasing it throughout the day. Your poem made me think of words Amy spoke at The Educator Collaborative Gathering today: poetry as "the dailiness, the needs we have, combined with magic."

  4. This is beautiful, Cathy. Just so clear, like a perfect bell. And I am honored that stopping by my place would have a part in such a piece. When I read your words, I thought of another writer poem I love - "The Writer" by Richard Wilbur. You may well know it, but here it is - It's so cool where our inspirations find us; I adore those stories. It's a whirlwind month! xx

  5. Cathy- I want to walk beside any of you- Amy, Mary Lee, and you as you write. All of your are your own special brand of extraordinary. This is beautiful. And I love hearing you (and Amy) read your work aloud!


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