I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

29 June 2016

The Advantages of Poetry

Be faithful to your calling.
It will not desert you.
(You will doubt this at times,
when it seems to take leave of absence,
but trust. It WILL come back.) 

Poetry won't keep you warm
on cold nights,
but will help you celebrate
those who do
(every coupling 
a secret threesome)
and console you
after they depart.

It might not make you rich
but you'll think
your poverty's worth it.

You'll always
have someone to talk to.

Poetry is not a partner
who'll dump you after just one dance.
Poetry wants to go home with you.
And if you can't dance,
poetry will teach you.

Poetry will happily 
get wasted with you –
and in the morning
you'll both look worse for wear.
Later, though,
poetry will help you straighten out.

If the power goes off,
you only need a candle
and some kind of notebook
with keyboard or pen.
You can do without TV
or someone else's novel.

It won't feed you
but it can make you forget about meals, 
and any other hunger or thirst 
except the ache for perfection
of word or line.

No matter what goes wrong,
no matter how helpless you feel,
there is always this to do.

And when everything's right
and beautiful
and buoyant,
poetry enables you
to hold the moment a whole lot longer,
then to return for more.
(With poetry, there is no such thing
as being too greedy.)

Poetry doesn't care
about fame and status. 
You do –
and it may or may not happen –
but to poetry it's simply irrelevant.

You want someone to read your poetry,
someone to hear your words.
You're allowed to want that; it's natural.
And there will be those who do.
Cherish them, even if they are not many.

But know, as well,
that if you stand outside and speak your poetry,
be it in a shout or a whisper,
the trees will hear, and the air.
When you read your words over to yourself, silently,
angels and spirits will stand at your shoulder
reading too, noticing the pictures and the music.
And when the words are nowhere but in your mind,
God perceives them, who put them there.

Linked to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #310


  1. Dearest Rosemary, That's the finest poem I have read for a very long time. Each line rings true. The angels and the spirits are still standing by. We have been faithful to our calling.

  2. And lest it not be said often enough, thank you.

    1. Many thanks to YOU, dear Rob, for these kind comments.

  3. (every coupling
    a secret threesome)

    I adore that. It's so true!

  4. Yes, this is an AMAZEMENT of a poem, full of truths....poetry always does come back; it never leaves. I love that it will teach us to dance! I especially love your closing stanza.........so many wonderful lines, especially the trees listening to our poems, and the spirits standing at our shoulders. Sigh. Glorious and perfect.

  5. Oh, Rosemary, this is really inspired. I find myself nodding as I read your words. Poetry is indeed the loyalist of friends. It won't desert us, even if fora time we desert it. At its best, it does indeed make one hold the moment longer......and, additionally, it makes the reader experience that moment right along with you! Really enjoyed this one, Rosemary. It is universal.

  6. Back again, and wow, Rosemary! You could not have said it any better. I especially love the angels and spirits reading over one's shoulder. Love that so much I had to say it again. An inspired and inspiring write. Makes me want to write a poem! Smiles. If I were doing I Wish I'd Written That, I would choose this poem.

  7. You were inspired Rosemary when these words flowed...you make us aware of the gifts that we never imagined existed.."When you read your words over to yourself, silently, /angels and spirits will stand at your shoulder / reading too, noticing the pictures and the music." feeling so happy...thank you dear friend....

  8. I agree with full heart. Poetry is a friend loyal but also craving my attention,.. I hope to do it right, I know you do it right, truly inspirational

  9. Angels and spirits at your shoulder.. that's exactly how it should feel when poems are read! Loved that!

  10. Indeed. It is a consoling past-time.

  11. Whistles!!! Gosh Rosemary :D this is such a gorgeous poem so full of wisdom and truth! Especially love:

    'You want someone to read your poetry,
    someone to hear your words.
    You're allowed to want that; it's natural.
    And there will be those who do.
    Cherish them, even if they are not many.'

    Beautifully penned

    Lots of love,

  12. Self actualisation sprang to mind as i read - ok that was the second thought..the first - how can i comment - selfishly this is everything i wonder about, worry about and care about - all packaged up with parting lines that makes everything feel 'ok'..there will come a time when all makes sense

    1. You – we all – are allowed to be selfish when it comes to reading poetry! Surely that is, first of all, something we do for our pleasure?

    2. Put like that yes we all deserve pleasure!

  13. i really love this poem and the truths in it. poetry is a strange creature, but it will not abandon you, even in your darkest time, if it had come to know you. am i making sense, haha!
    i remembered at my first poetry reading, i was thinking, wtf have i gotten into. but as i read, there were "angels and spirits standing at my shoulders" giving me the courage and confidence, and in the end, the audience and i enjoyed the reading.

    1. You make complete sense. (Smile.)

      Omg that first reading – it does take daring, but how glad we are forever after, that we risked it

  14. Poetry is such a great companion, it will laugh with you or comfort you when you are sad but best of all you can go adventures and even have secret lovers and make readers wonder whether they are true. What a great poem Rosemary.

  15. Poetry is wonderfully consoling and a beautiful literary medium of expressing innermost thoughts and making special connections. Blessed are we who have the ability and desire to write.

  16. Rosemary, this poem speaks from the heart of poetry. I always know I have an outlet for personal expression. I have often felt like someone was watching over my shoulders when I was creating. The words seemed to come from some other place. Perhaps, a spirit/angel had something to add.

  17. I loved this piece on so many levels Rosemary! It speaks to so many parts of me--

  18. That is just the best darned poetry about poetry that I have ever read!!! Thank you.

  19. Ring true from verse to verse, the endearing friend that poetry is to its writer
    Have a nice Sunday

    much love...

  20. Okay, its all pretty much been said already. I can only add a resounding Wow! And then maybe another, and another. Thank you for this one. It made my heart dance and my fingers itch,


  21. This is a fantastic poem! It conjures forth a cascade of nodding smiles. It is so full of eloquence and truth - and is such a satisfying and artistically restorative piece of literature. You have created something wonderful, here!

  22. Gorgeous - zen - spiritual - Mama Goddess ... just wonderful

  23. Love! Especially the coupling that turns into tripling, and the replays of precious moments. I read in a Quaker Coffeehouse yesterday called "Poems of Purpose" and felt everyone's share as if a prayer meeting!

  24. Rosemary, I'm always impressed when I see people who really, deeply love each other. Here, I see and feel the deep love you have for poetry. Your words are so inspirational, motivational too because at times when poetry seems to leave me, now I know to just wait and it will return. It is truly like a faithful lover. Thank you so much for putting down in words something so meaninful. It is my favorite of yours now.

    1. That makes me all the gladder that I wrote it!

  25. This speaks to a poet's heart.

  26. Rosemary, got over here by way of Mary's link and her credit she gives to you for inspiring her. I don't think there could be a greater compliment.
    This is absolutely wonderful!