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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Still Not Attending AWP - My Own Writer's Retreat

The beautiful thing about having missed AWP is that I can keep going today, after AWP is over! Looking for more poems about writing, today I pulled out Turtle Island, Gary Snyder's Pulitzer Prize winning poetry book. He read at AWP Denver in 2009, a brilliantly quiet and understated reading of concentration and polished intensity. Here's one of his. Do you have a favorite poem about writing?

As For Poets

As for poets
The Earth Poets
Who write small poems,
Need help from no man.

The Air Poets
Play out the swiftest gales
And sometimes loll in the eddies.
Poem after poem,
Curling back on the same thrust.

At fifty below
Fuel oil won't flow
And propane stays in the tank.
Fire Poets
Burn at absolute zero
Fossil love pumped backup

The first
Water Poet
Stayed down six years.
He was covered with seaweed.
The life in his poem
Left millions of tiny
Different tracks
Criss-crossing through the mud.

With the Sun and Moon
In his belly,
The Space Poet
Sleeps.
No end to the sky-
But his poems,
Like wild geese,
Fly off the edge.

A Mind Poet
Stays in the house.
The house is empty
And it has no walls.
The poem
Is seen from all sides,
Everywhere,
At once.