Monday, April 17, 2006

A search for order

"For me, poetry is always a search for order." ~ Elizabeth Jennings

It seems that as we go through life, the very process of living is in itself a natural disordering process. We read the paper, it ends up with sections missing or A between E and D and the Movie section folded inside out. Or we get up in the morning and the bed covering is all out of kelter. And so life moves through the day being lived, being sort of misshapen if you will. We stop at various points to re-order our lives. But we know full well these are temporary shifts in the sand of life, and like the wheat in a Kansas field, it will again move with each breeze.

Elizabeth Jennings has touched upon a most human instinctive facet of poetry. Poetry often speaks to my own need to pause and get things right. To find and reorder life. To find that emotion that resides deep within. You know it is there and cannot begin tell or explain it, even to the one you are closest to in life, for want of words. For perfect description. Your mind and soul searches for that ordering and until you find it - until a poem speaks it to you and you have that ah-ha! realization - it remains locked deep within.

Sometimes it's through my own writing that these things come about. Still, at other times it is the words of another poet that provide a key to this ordering, this finding the right words or image to complete the emotional translation. And so it is that we become better aware and in that greater awareness, now have the ability to put our deepest fears or longing desires, or greater joys and utmost delights into the right words and best order to achieve most precise meaning.


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