Thoughts on Poetry (from the uneducated)

I'm sure you guessed, but the uneducated is of course me.

So why collaborate with a poet? As well as photography, I make a living writing (journalistic pieces in the beginning, but mostly ad copy these days) and wanted to learn more about poetry. I've always loved poems, read them from time to time, but didn't always understand the words. I had questions. Why do poems look the way they do? Why do poets dislike punctuation? Why do some poems make me feel something and others don't? Why are these people so intelligent?

I haven't learned all the answers to my questions yet, but this project has lead me to research poets that connect to nature the way I do. Mary Oliver has been one of my greatest discoveries so far. I don't always understand her work either, but the images she paints with her words are more often than not what I see in my camera. Makes me want to cry sometimes.

Lois and Rosemarie, the poets in Geology of Spirit, have given me an education that I did not expect. I always thought of myself as an insightful person, but dang, these two ask some pointed questions that take me to places I didn't know existed. Maybe, looking for answers to questions is what art is all about.

So ...

If you ever get the chance to make friends with a poet, make the effort. You'll be a better person for it.
If you ever get the chance to work creatively with a poet, take the adventure. You'll be a better artist.
Try to HEAR poems read aloud. (Google it if you don't want to go to a reading.) You'll find music you didn't know existed.
Ask the poet what they meant and what they were thinking when they wrote the poem. You'll come away with a shared human connection that will make you feel less isolated.

Do I want to be a poet too? Yeah, kind of. Will I pursue it? Time will tell.



Cyd Peroni