The Poetry Hunt by Caroline Donnola


Roque Dalton, a renown poet from El Salvador (1935-1975) said in his poem titled “Like You,”  “I believe the world is beautiful and that poetry, like bread, is for everyone.”  (Jessie Fields submitted the full poem for your blog a few years ago.)  It turns out that hundreds of well-known poets, and probably thousands of lesser known ones, have written 12495942_10207847865062060_3320784175264629657_opoems about poetry.  This is fascinating to me because poetry is often seen as esoteric or alien or worse.  But what would the world be like if everyone was encouraged to write and read poetry?  Why is it a valuable activity?  What is it about writing poetry that encourages philosophizing?  These are questions that interest me.  During the past year I have written several poems that explore the activity of writing poetry.  Here is one.


The Poetry Hunt


The right word,
The best word,

The heartfelt word—
We poets hunt,
And then we hunt some more.
Should it be beacon or fire?
Or simply desire?
And if the shoe fits,
Must we wear it?
Or should our foot be handsomely shod?
No poet is an island.
We are weaving around and about
In all the world’s history,
In a dance with every poet we ever loved.
We are part of the main.
We have Dickinson’s passion
Donne’s power
Shakespeare’s breadth
Langston’s pain
Edna’s sensuality
Roque’s love.

The right word,
The best word
The heartfelt word—

And then all the words

Get flung together, conjuring
As we join together
In our quest to cherish
Each other’s poetry.
The chance to be together
In a world we’ve created
From dust and air
From history, imagination
And yes, from Words.
Writing poetry

Is like making soup—
We swish together
the basic ingredients
Then toss in a pinch of
The unknown-
Our wishes, hopes
Secrets and dreams.
And then, there it is
Like a miracle—
Words that have become a poem,
And that poem
Becomes part
Of something wonderful,

A world that is filled

With our heartfelt words

Because poetry

Is spilling out of everyone

Every day

Even on the days we forget to

Say it out loud.


2018 National Poetry Month Poster

Founder of the Politics for the People free educational series and book club for independent voters. Chair of the New York County Independence Party.

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