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 Role of a Poet


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 one to tells

truths we may not want to hear

a poet brings to light what is most dear

and helps us to face fear

 

A poet brings you back into your own life

and teaches you how to breathe in and out

in stillness and in meditation

while you listen carefully to your breath and heart beat

and to the divine explanation of why we are all here.

 

A poet is a little god

who soothes your soul

and lets you peek into life’s crystal ball

to see yourself for the very first time

 

A poet sings the songs that make the world go round

and says what matters in free verse or rhyme

a poet knows how to expertly use every utterance and sound

in alliteration or onomatopoeia or assonance

and when it comes to choosing

the right meter

who else can we possibly trust

 

It does not matter what form a poem takes

A poet must not mistake

an epic, a limerick or an ode

As long as a poet can bring back the spring

in the middle of winter.

 

A poet can make you sing

and help you see the purpose of a fly

and you can either believe every word

or decide to defy

its relevance or ambiguity

but we must admit the poet’s acuity

for words and how to use them in a soliloquy.

 

Being a poet is not an easy job

a poet can make you smile

or make your heart throb

 

A poet can also make you think

about so many things that need thinking

and when you don’t understand

the message it can really stink

 

but as for me

I still hope to be

a poet someday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 10 Best First Lines in Poems


The 10 Best First Lines in Poems

A poem’s first line just like a song’s or a great book’s can hook you for life. These are in my opinion the best ten lines from some of my favorite poems and I have to admit I have many. Poemattic will provide the titles and authors in the next post.

 
What is the best first line in a poem that you have read?

Do you know the titles of the poems these first lines are from?

I
Hold fast to dreams
The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
Oh mother, mother, where is happiness?
II
I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
If I could catch the green lantern of the firefly I could see to write you a letter.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
III
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
I woke up real early to write about death, but
Do not go gentle into that good night

Melba Christie

 

 


What is Poetry to Me

Poetry ignites me;
It allows me to see things clearly;
To touch things with my eyes,
To be able to feel with my nose,
To dance on my hands,
while in the meantime time, I keep drumming, drumming, drumming away for life to be lived.

Poetry to me is the opportunity to say what my heart was afraid to say out loud.
It’s an opportunity to connect to myself and find my soul.
It’s an opportunity to reach Nirvana and bring someone with me.
It’s the sweet feeling that comes within a split second to help you realize you have written
A unique verse to soothe your soul and maybe someone else’s
When I recite a favorite line of mine
And I sigh, take a deep breath, and nod my head in approval
I realize how poetry is life itself.
It is my life
Poetry dares to ask myself about me
when I need to know me all over again.

                         –  Melba Christie

What is poetry to you? I would love to hear from you.

Poetry Books