one of my favorites


When I Am Asked

When I am asked
how I began writing poems,
I talk about the indifference of nature.

It was soon after my mother died,
a brilliant June day,
everything blooming.

I sat on a gray stone bench
in a lovingly planted garden,
but the day lilies were as deaf
as the ears of drunken sleepers
and the roses curved inward.
Nothing was black or broken
and not a leaf fell
and the sun blared endless commercials
for summer holidays.

I sat on a gray stone bench
ringed with the ingenue faces
of pink and white impatiens
and placed my grief
in the mouth of language,
the only thing that would grieve with me.

- Lisel Mueller

This is one of those poems that never fails to inspire me. We all have a reason for why we begin to write poetry. For some of us it is a loss, so vast that we can't bear it.

For some of us it is our first love. And we feel giddy and speechless and afraid. Afraid that it will end and we will be the way we were before love struck. Fear is a huge motivator.

Others of us feel misunderstood. Poetry is such a cure for those who are misunderstood.

Whatever the reason, poetry heals, almost anything. It grieves with us.


Kris said...

Very lovely! I feel inspired to sit in the park and write! But... I'll wait until it is warm! :o)

ps I need guest posts in a few weeks if you are interested. stop by for details!

Brissa said...

"poetry heals."
i love this poem and your thoughts. thank you.

ben+alex said...

can i just say that i LOVE your blog.
you write so beautifully. i wish that i had that talent.

emmakaren said...

I love this post so much, and how true it, all of it, is.

Priscila ° said...

That's how I feel about songwriting. Love the poem, thanks for sharing!