Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"Inside Your Poem"

Climb inside your poem. Cool as a cave
it is. Cool and luminous. Invisible
aromatic tapestries hang
from curved beams carved out of marble.
On the ceiling, images roll, shift, crash,
and recombine like the surface of surf.

Yes, and the lustrous bodies of dancers
in there--the music, the spring-water,
the food! In muted sectors elsewhere
in your poem, stone shelves carry books,
many of them full of poetry that, outside
your poem, has never been seen. Your
poem contains rare verse! Write

your way deep into cavernous
passages. Draw on the walls.
Listen and sing. Dream and tell.



hans ostrom 2014




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