Living In a Poem

Recently I listened to Krista Tippett’s On Being podcast. The guest was Poet, Naomi Shihab Nye, who began with a story in which she writes on the front board of a classroom, “You are living in a poem.” Oh, how sweet, to welcome such a notion. To be living in an artistic expression. To be living in a situation of some things spoken and some things not. To be living, period.

Over the last six months, I’ve joined regularly to a small poetry group convened by an old chum, Jeremy Nash. It’s a monthly meeting. It’s a small group of 5-8 participants that gathers for an hour. It’s a simple format of responding to poems that Jeremy selects in advance. I joined the group because I wanted to feel myself living in a poem, living with others living in poems. That’s all happened. Quite wonderfully, and in simplicity.

Part of the process in meeting with this monthly group is to have each participant write and offer a poetic form at the end of the call. It’s a format of five lines, the first having one word, the second having two words, the third line having three words, the fourth having two words, and the fifth having one word. It’s quite fun to see what we each create from the material and from the sharing that we each offer. I love a spontaneity of expression, a freedom of spontaneity.

Mine yesterday — I did two.

wants to
live through us;
tender love

wants to
live through us;
tender life

Poetry isn’t just words. It’s a feeling. It’s an energetic. It’s frequency of vitality. It’s an invitation to celebrate expression of what can be the most simple, or the most complex, of life encountered.

Well, I gush. But quite unapologetically. If what any of us encourage with each other is encountered and noticed life, well…, then…, it seems we might just be living in a poem.

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