The Elements of Poetry

Lovely lazy Sunday morning, warm, slightly humid & possibly the first one of the summer will need the hum of the a.c. Meanwhile thinking about poetry & poetics — & by chance (though that’s the wrong word) come across this little poem by Robert Kelly, from his book The Time of Voice:


It should be formal as water
is, obedient
to every contour of what is
yet in generous authority
leave every surface changed by its touch.

Formal as fire
sustained by what it consumes —
your memories and desires flame
suddenly in the tinder of the text,
your breath the oxygen it needs.

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