The Role of a Poet


Thinking of a few beloved poets: Emily Dickinson, Gwendolyn Brooks, Yeats, Poe, Christina Rossetti I continue to focus on the Role of the Poet and how I play that role.

Melba Christie at Poemattic

I often ask myself what is the role or job of the poet? Each time the response depends on what is happening in the world and in my personal life. I ask other poets the same question. Sometimes I wish I could ask my favorite poets, especially those who became well-known after they passed. I could imagine their reaction when they learn in their after life that people finally get and appreciate the poems they wrote.

As I pondered the question I went back to my collection of poetry books and looked for some insights.  Inspired by poet’s biographies and other readings, I wrote a poem that hopefully answers the question. I mean if you have ever asked yourself what is the role of the poet.

The Role of the Poet

I believe the world needs a poet more today

It needed one yesterday as well

because a poet is…

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The Death of a Poet


 

Today we mourn the passing of Keith Roach. Rest in Peace!

“We bid farewell to Keith Roach – poet, slammaster, mentor and teacher – who presided over our poetry slams and open mics for years. Keith inspired a generation of poets, and played a significant role in the advancement of slam poetry, as an art form and a movement. He will be greatly missed.”

Nuyorican Poets Cafe

Who mourns the death

of a poet?

Another poet does.

Although the poems remain

and the rhymes

access time

and resonate in the brain

The void left is great

A teacher, a mentor to many

The great noesis (1)

Powerful verbs and thoughts

to inspire the young poet

the slamming of  ideas into

the heart and soul

Cannot

and will not be forgotten.

Who mourns the death

of a poet?

(1)  noesis, a rare noun that turns up in the field of philosophy and refers to the action of perceiving or thinking

 

First Stanzas


First stanzas in poetry hook me

every time

words magically gather

to engage my soul

to make me feel whole.

Herein is one favorite

first stanza

by the Bard of Avon

I quote him proudly

from his sonnet 73

“That time of year thou mayst in me behold

when yellow leaves, or none, or few do hang

Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,

Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.”

I feel myself age each day

there is still so much I need to say

I want to sing

among the fall’s orange leaves

I want to play

my piano in fortissimo

let the sound resonate

and get the message out

Let the craziness stop

Let there be peace.

Orange Leaf Tree