The U.K. poet, Philip Gross imagines a vessel built from poems. In a way, his poem teaches us about the process of writing a poem, plus what it takes: passion, determination, and skill. With a bit of cheek, he suggests “there’s really nothing to it, ” but in reality, it’s an investment. What else do you think Philip Gross is trying to say in this poem? As a poet, what is involved in your poetry-writing process?
The Boat Made of Poems
sings and hums and talks and whispers to itself.
It never sleeps.
It groans, it shudders to the rhythm of the waves.
Its timbers creak
in the language of every port it has put into –
the backchat, the patois,
the babble, the Babel, the smuggled rich lingo
of each dockside bar.
But hush: don’t tell the captain or the bosun
or the loosely rhyming crew:
there’s really nothing to it, poetry,
just air, hot air and paper, oh, and skill
and love and hope, between them
and the deep dark silent sea.
Think of the parts of a boat, ship, or sailing vessel. Use your imagination and experience to craft a boat made from your writing process, favorite poetry form, or technique. What would a boat made of your poetry look like?
Thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s poetry prompt. Here is part of a poem from Elizabeth we enjoyed:
We could tie the past to each and
Every one that has ever owned us
(Don’t be fooled, you never really own a boat)
anchoring us to secrets of our misplaced trust
Bind it up
Tether it with a reef knot
And for insurance’s sake
Place a well-formed Turk’s head
In the stern line
Last night we marveled at the flood tide marsh,
Heading home under the night sky
from safe inside our little nameless vessel
at her mercy
Photo by Marco Monetti, Creative Commons via Flickr.