The poetry all around us

It is not everyday that the world arranges itself into a poem – Wallace Stevens

There are those fortunate hours when the world consents to be made into a poem. – Mark Doty

A couple of weeks ago I had three Marks in my head – Doty, Nepo, Strand.  I went for an amble through poetry books and quotes, and for some reason these two lines jumped out at me.  I’ve written before that everyday life is a practice and a poem.  It is clear that one of my life’s central preoccupations is witnessing the poetry in the most ordinary days.

My first response on reading that line by Stevens was that I disagree entirely; I think if you look closely, watch patiently, there is poetry to be seen everywhere, and every day.  And Doty’s point about the world consenting to be made into a poem makes sense to me turned around the other way: it consents when we let it.  When we turn our attention to the world, and keep our hearts open, there is poetry everywhere.

See the poetry I found, just in the last few weeks?  All you have to do is look.  Remember, what you see is what you get.


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6 Comments

  1. Posted May 1, 2012 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    Glorious. And how different they each are… I really do think one of the greatest things is my camera on my iPhone- I catch moments like these now too and how amazing to look back on them..

  2. Posted May 1, 2012 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    oh yes, attention. being present to what is. slowing down. seeing in stillness. mantras I keep on repeat so I too can appreciate the poetry that is everywhere. and two simple practices that ground and center me…feel my feet, breathe into my belly. thank you.

  3. Margaret
    Posted May 1, 2012 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    I’m speechless. So maybe I should take my camera out more! Beautiful and thought-provoking as always…

  4. Posted May 1, 2012 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    I think of your “practice and poem” at least once a week. And I love that photo of Whit and Grace together.

  5. Posted May 1, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    I love your take on the Doty quote. You are so right. The world does consent when we let it. When we stop and take a moment to look around, what is there is simply magic.

  6. Posted May 2, 2012 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Agree fully to this. When I do slow down and take in each moment and be present in them, the seconds feel like hours, time and life seem to expand. Often, though, with crazybusyfrantic life, I don’t. I don’t slow down, I don’t notice…and it is then I feel like I don’t have enough time to do what I want/need to do. The irony is if I just slowed down a bit, I would. I need to remember your practice and poem phrase more. Thank you for this.