A Poem Is

A poem is a primal language.

It concedes precious meaning to infernal form.

That is to say, when there is nothing more to be said, that is when language has succeeded.

Yet here, in plastics & molten models, we have to be a part of our thoughts, our times, our sensual nature. Stuck here, as if to no end.

A good poem resigns from its own meaning. It becomes different, other. It is transformative and it is transformed.

Rather than lead a reader through an idea, marking distinct moments with bullet points, making sure to leave out no detail, a good poem ignores most of itself.

Like a soul that knows it cannot be comprehended by its body, the meaning of a poem is left to devices outside of language, outside of formal knowledge or rationality.

I don’t know what that poem looks like, exactly, and I’m sure I’ve never written one, but others have.


Excerpt of Pablo Neruda's "We Together" published by New Directions.
Excerpt from Pablo Neruda’s “We Together” or “Juntos Nosotros”

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