On Reading Poetry

Paul Klee  likesuccess.com

Paul Klee likesuccess.com

Tell me
what you see
I don’t want to know
what you think about it
and certainly not
what you know about it
Simply show it to me
Let me see it
in words

The bird
on its wing
flies by so silently
on its way some`place
you cannot know
on its way from some`
place you can’t go
Let me see it
in words

The wave
on its shore
rolls in as foam
to disappear in the sand
don’t tell me why
to reappear in the wave
bent back to sea
Let me see it
in words

“I shall lie hidden in a hut
In the middle of an alder wood,
With the back door blind and bolted shut,
And the front door locked for good.” ~ Elinor Wylie


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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3 Responses to On Reading Poetry

  1. I smiled to whole way through <3

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been writing a lot of poetry lately. Clearing up a few things in my life/mind have been key in that department, and something that T. S. Eliot wrote has been instrumental: “If we learn to read poetry properly, the poet never persuades us to believe anything. … What we learn from Dante or the Bhagavad-Gita, or any other religious poetry is what it feels like to believe that religion.” I think you’re saying the same thing in this poem, and I have a feeling that you figured it out long before I did.


    • Thank you for the thoughtful response. Of course TSE is spot on . . . Convincing others of the reasonableness of their religion is called ‘apologetics’ and has its rightful place in human discourse; while poetry is an invitation to see [feel] through an other person’s eye the mysteries that surround us in life and simply marvel . . . Blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

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