I started reading Wendell Berry’s poem, “How to be a Poet (to remind myself)” because the title grabbed me. I mean, I can always use some tips on how to be a poet and would welcome any advice from Mr. Berry! His initial words (and his wonderful matter-of-fact reading of them in the video clip) reminded me once again of the importance of just showing up to do the work. (Really, how many times do I need this reminder?! “Make a place to sit down./Sit down. Be quiet.”) Berry also reminds me how important and powerful it is to actively clear a space in my whirring mind and busy life–to pay attention, to clear away the distractions and to listen to the silence and my own inner voice. (“stay away from screens/Stay away from anything/ that obscures the place it is in”)
And then these wonderful final lines…
“make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.”
Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.
I chose to share the final stanza of his poem, but encourage you to click on the title to read it in its entirety. If you’d prefer to listen to Wendell Berry reading this poem, click the link below. You can also treat yourself and do both!
To read other poetry, please go to Today’s Little Ditty , Michelle H. Barnes’ most wonderful blog. Not only can you access other poems for this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup there, you can also read her wonderful interviews and find information about her monthly challenges. What are you waiting for? Click on the link!