Advice to a Poet

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Nothing worth writing
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀can be well written.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Know that before you start,
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀my young restless friend.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀This stone, this cold exceptional fact,
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀let it color black the ink
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀of words you’ve penned.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Use it as a mirror
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀to prove how inexact
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀the metaphor appears against the fact.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Hard, wake hard on this dream forbidden:
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Nothing worth writing
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀can be well written.

prompted by A Birthday in August ~ Sara Teasdale
at the imaginary garden with real toads,
respectfully mirroring Teasdale’s Advice to a Girl,
as posted at The Writer’s Almanac

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14 Responses to Advice to a Poet

  1. lolamouse says:

    Thank you for the reference. I’ve never read that poem before. Yours mirrors it so well, although thinking about it makes me a little depressed!

  2. Kay Davies says:

    An excellent mirror image of Teasdale’s original. I like yours best.

    • Thanks. I like hers best. I’ve had a great time today indulging in Teasdale and taking these little freedoms with a small bit of all I’ve read of her poetry, together with the Teasdale-inspired works the other poets at the toad garden have shared.

  3. I like your take on Teasdale’s theme in this poem. Your presentation of the writing process is very well expressed – and something for all writers to think about.

  4. An interesting perspective ~ I love the part about mirror, we always try to capture them, but it is always inexact of reality ~

  5. coalblack says:

    I like both poems, your and Sara’s.

    Coal (Fireblossom in WordPress clothes)

    • Thanks. And I still need to find me my other clothes I think I used to have. I’m not too good on the technical side of blogging, so when someone else has set up a template for me, I tend to re-use that year after year, until I’ve forgotten how to blog any other way. (There’s probably a sad poem in that.)

  6. This is a strong piece in the viewpoint expressed…well done!

  7. Love your comment on the work of the poet – the last three lines in this absolutely glow! Nicely done, Cyn, and great to see you again at Real Toads. Peace, Amy

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