Poetry as Spiritual Practice | Moving on to the Next Assignment
My next writing assignment from GlenOnline's Workshop has taken a while to gestate. Working on understanding poetry in a different way simultaneous to working on a day job has been a challenge. But I am still determined to complete it.
The rhythm of poetry can only be captured in a moment of silence. Where thoughts quiet down and you can hear the sound of your own breathing. It's impossible to digest a poem with a noisy mind. The words do not penetrate and the meaning behind it is lost. Yet, when you get to the discipline of being able to sit with a poem and be patient with the words while they unveil themselves to life, the wait is worth it.
Earlier this week I expressed a bit of frustration about how I'm not able to remain consistent with the writing flow. Somehow I've accepted that the creative flow come in waves and what nurtures an artistic pursuit is the perseverance to make the attempt again and again. Remaining graceful and grateful at the same time.
The next assignment I am about to dig into is about "walking with a poem". Quite similar to practice of lectio divina, this approach takes me into "stroll" as I roll with the poems words, punctuation, syllabication, rhythm. While reading my mentor's notes, I realized how visual a poem can be. It's literally painting with words. Though I have written a number of poems in the past, I have not really been able to appreciate how poet constructs the image of a poem through the structure of the phrases, the line gaps and pauses in between.
I'm looking forward to catching up on the writing rhythm soon. For now, I ponder on A.R. Ammon's "A Poem is Walk" as quoted by my mentor Peggy Rosenthal:
I would suggest you teach that poetry leads us to the unstructured sources of our beings, to the unknown, and returns us to our rational, structured selves refreshed. Having once experienced the mystery, plenitude, contradiction, and composure of a work of art, we afterwards have a built-in resistance to the slogans and propaganda of over-simplification that have often contributed to the destruction of human life. Poetry is a verbal means to a non-verbal source. It is a motion to no-motion, to the still point of contemplation and deep realization.
|one of the first few photos of a series i called "picture poetry"|
taken in Paris infront of Notre Dame Cathedral 2005