Thursday, June 10, 2010

The ride of the melting poem

Terrific quote here from Robert Frost on the making of a poem. How it must 'ride on its own melting' and not be 'worried into being'. Apposite for me given my Tuesday Poem 'Pink T-shirt'  (previous post). Written over 20 years ago it felt to me that, once long-ago melted and fresh, it had 'set' like jelly, and therefore, despite any misgivings I had about it, was no longer able to be stirred and made into something fresh again. Frost assures me the preciousness of a poem is its having run itself once and taken a poet with it. That, he says, is its freshness. Of course he's right. The poem knew that - calling from the pile of the great unread 'pick me' and sliding away when I tried to pin down a word or phrase. To change it would have been, strangely, to change the moment or the way I perceived the moment. To be disloyal, somehow. How astonishing it is, how gratifying, to see the reader comments on 'Pink T-shirt' at the bottom of the post, their immediate loyalty, their fresh regard.

Thanks to poet Saradha Koirala for gleaning the Frost quote. 

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