Poems about Being a Poet (or not)

(Full disclosure: I have an undergrad degree in creative writing and a master’s in English lit.)

I love poetry. I love reading it.  I love writing it.  But I don’t write it much any more.  Back in the spring I went on a mini-spurt of poetry writing and the first two poems I wrote were basically about why I don’t write much poetry.


Emily Dickinson always
kept the poem she was writing
in the pocket of her white dress.

Always a white dress.

Maybe if I did away
with the complications of wardrobe
I would have poems in my pocket, too.




The poets I love lived quiet lives;
no children,
long walks at dawn
in poem-producing peace.

My life is not their life.
My poetry not their poetry.
I don’t have my own woods–
or even much of a garden.

Any woods and garden I had
I would share with my children
who are prone to be hot or cold
or thirsty or hungry
or tired or trampling the marigolds,

And it would be my job
to bring a breeze or warmth
or water or food
or rest or calm,

Not my job
to notice the thousand ants nibbling
the invisible sweetness that binds
balls of pink peony petals
swaying atop their stems
waiting, waiting to burst.

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