Three Poems About Poetry

Poets write poems about everything. Here’s a little bouquet of three on poetry itself.

By Ellen Kort

Poems know how to turn a blind eye
to truth   a language your mother knows
but never tells you   Poems jump ditches
straddle the river   drive across frozen
lakes slamming the brakes   spinning
out of control   never really sure the ice
will hold   They burst open like seeds
row after row   across pages   foot loose
ripe and blooming like the prized rose I stole
from Mrs. Hogan’s garden   a perfect
sun-glazed yellow for my mother’s birthday
Poems swing from the clothesline   strung
between earth and sky   one trapeze act
after another   defiant   off-the-cuff poems
beginning now where someone else left off

By Roger Mergendahl

Teacher said, "Write poems on love
But never rhyme that word with dove
Or years with tears or kiss with bliss.
A good poem’s the antithesis
Of simple sounding rhymed clichés
You find in cards for the holidays."

On me, this man’s advice was lost.
I had been reading Robert Frost.
With no apology at all
Frost rhymes such sounds as wall and fall
And bees and trees and heard and bird.
To make the most of every word.

I can’t accept that teacher’s rule,
So yesterday I quit that school
To wander, as a poet must
Till I succeed or just go bust.
But if I fail there’s no great harm,
I, too, will start a chicken farm.

I Created a Six-Foot Giraffe
By Anita Beckstrom

I Created a Six-Foot Giraffe
from Cardboard

declared myself an artist
at age seven

later hauled around
a lot of heavy paintings
picture frames
art supplies

when I became a poet
my colors could be carried
in a very