Life is poetry.
There are moments that stand alone: each one a perfect phrase with notable, quotable timelessness. “This,” we say to ourselves, “This I will remember.”
There are the shyer, less showy moments that come and go without fanfare. They re-emerge as syllables of wonder. They shimmer in retrospect with a numinous, luminous glow. Each one is a haiku of grace.
Poetry is the gentle flute that beckons us off the tired and worn way toward a new way of seeing.
Poetry invites us to go to “the pasture spring” with Robert Frost: “You come too.” Poetry tells us (through Mary Oliver) to “be astonished.” Poetry urges us (through T.S. Eliot) to “measure out our life in coffee spoons.” Poetry opens our ears (through Walt Whitman) to “hear America singing.” Poetry invites us (through Edna St. Vincent Millay) to be “the gladdest thing under the sun,” and to see the world as made “too beautiful this year.” Poetry opens our eyes wide even as we wander (with Wordsworth) “lonely as a cloud… upon a host of daffodils.” Poetry makes us notice (like Robert Browning) “the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf.“ Poetry urges us (through William Carlos Williams) to see “the red wheelbarrow glazed with rainwater” and to take the purple plum out of the ice box: “They were delicious. So cold and so sweet.”
Poetry reveals and deepens our experience of life. Look! The world is too beautiful. Listen! America is singing. Taste the last purple plum. Pay attention to the red wheelbarrow next to the white chickens. Step into the moment that glitters — it is your poem to write. It is your poem to live. Life is poetry.