Saturday, October 22, 2011

On Being a Poet - So Tolls the Poet's Pulse

The poet's pulse
The throbbing silent and heard
The pulsing hidden and seen
Emotions held and free
The panting of the poet’s palette
Words of color, hue, mood and timbre
Sonorous images of light
Orchestrated upon the page
So tolls the poet’s pulse.

Rose Marie Raccioppi
Poet Laureate
Orangetown, New York

Image, Pool Pulse, Museum of Science, Boston, 2007.

"Throughout the ages, the language of poetry has held a special power to lend us courage, to give us the vision of those who endured and to hazard ourselves boldly in the world we must inhabit. The insights and imagery of poetry can take us beyond any small perimeter we have made for ourselves and call us to look life straight in the eyes. Once we establish ourselves at this conversational frontier, we find ourselves living amidst revelation, the recipients of visible and invisible help we could not previously recognize. Poetry tells us we can not only be found by a greater world, but also enlarge ourselves to become a participating element in that new future.

The task of the poet is to articulate the “it” in our lives, or our society’s lives - whatever “it” happens to be at any given time - and to try and overhear ourselves say something from which we cannot retreat.

Great poetry tells us that the stakes in life are very high and that failure is possible, yet it does not treat living as a burden. Suffering has its place in any human life, and in many ways is inescapable, yet it is also the hallmark of our incarnation, and one of the tasks of poetry is to show us how to walk into the middle of it and make a home, thus emboldening and deepening our generosity to others."

Institute of Noetic Sciences, "Clear Mind Wild Heart,"
Finding Courage and Clarity through Poetry, David Whyte.

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