HoCoPoLitSo

Home » Uncategorized » Power of Poetry – a guest post by Hiram Larew

Power of Poetry – a guest post by Hiram Larew

Join our email list.

To receive notifications about upcoming HoCoPoLitSo events via email, simply click
Subscribe.

Upcoming HoCoPoLitSo Events

  • Partner Event: Jason Reynolds at East Columbia Library. October 4, 2018 at 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm The Howard County Library System brings Jason Reynolds to the East Columbia Branch. HoCoPoLitSo is a sponsor of this event. For more information and registration details of the free event, visit page three of their The Source publication at: https://issuu.com/hoco_library/docs/2018_fall_final
  • HoCoPoLitSo Board Meeting October 13, 2018 at 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Howard Community College, Columbia, MD 21044, USA Monthly meeting of the HoCoPoLitSo Board.
  • Ordinary Wonder: Three Poets On Writing and Reality Michael Collier, Elizabeth Spires, and David Yezzi October 26, 2018 at 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Building, 5020, Campus Dr, Columbia, MD 21044, USA Michael Collier, Elizabeth Spires, and David Yezzi open HoCoPoLitSo’s 45th Season with “Ordinary Wonder: Three Poets on Writing and Reality”. The season’s 2018 Lucille Clifton Reading Series event features these three Maryland poets, each with new, acclaimed collections. Collier, Spires and Yezzi will read and discuss their work beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Monteabaro…

Upcoming Regional Literary Events

  • Baltimore Book Festival September 28, 2018 – September 30, 2018 Baltimore, MD, USA The Baltimore Book Festival features hundreds of author appearances and book signings, 100+ exhibitors and booksellers, non-stop readings on multiple stages, cooking demos by celebrity chefs, poetry readings and workshops, panel discussions, walking tours, storytellers and hands-on projects for kids, street theater, live music, and a delicious variety of food, beer and wine.
  • Dodge Poetry Festival October 18, 2018 – October 21, 2018 New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark, NJ 07102, USA The nation's premier poetry festival happens every other year in Newark, New Jersey. This is one of those years. Guess where we'll be. Info at http://www.dodgepoetry.org/

Poetry doesn’t vote.  It can’t rule.  It sits on no juries.  It signs nothing into law.  It neither runs companies or organizes houses of worship.  And, it never ever wins an Academy award or Olympic Gold Medal.  Or, war.  On all of these fronts that matter, poetry is powerless.  And for that very reason, of course, it is incredibly powerful.

Poetry is our grins, our anger, your life, my death.  It’s the birds that stitch air.  It’s the soul of night, the feast of day, and that ever present caution that’s careless.  Poetry doesn’t decide.  It doesn’t provide.  If it answers at all, it does so with questions.  And, to be honest, poetry doesn’t care; it cares as deeply as wells do, yes, but it never brings you water.  It wants nothing from you except wanting – this is probably its most gifting power.

And it soars, when allowed to, over just about anything else we can imagine.  It’s not the clouds above so much, but our need for them.   Said all at once, poetry is powerful for what it cannot be, and for the dreams it wants.

If you should ever encounter a poem that makes you jump, ask yourself why.  Most likely, the answer – if there is one – will be from so far-fully inside you that ancestors will wink.

Finally, poetry is really nowhere and so it’s just about everywhere around us.  It lives in the corner of your eye.  It watches everything from the side.  Poetry is the best glancer of all.   It also aches with whatever is gone.  And, it cheers – even raves – for what may never be.  All to say, thank goodness – and badness – for poetry, and for our never being completely sure how powerfully potent it really is.

 


image used with permission by Hiram Larew

Hiram Larew’s work has appeared most recently in Little Patuxent Review, FORTH, vox poetica, Poetry Super Highway, Poets & Artists, Every Day Poems, Lunaris Review (Nigeria), Amsterdam Quarterly, and The Wild Word.  Author of three collections, he’s been nominated for four national Pushcart prizes, is a member of the Shakespeare Folger Library’s poetry board, and organizes several events in Prince George’s County, Maryland and beyond including Poetry X Hunger and The Poetry Poster Project. He is a global hunger specialist, and lives in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

This piece first appeared in Echo World, and subsequently in Poets & Artists, Tales from the Forest, Miriam’s Well (blog) and Huffington Post’s Thrive Global.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: