Remember who you are. If you ever knew, remember. You are not a catalog of things. You cannot be enunciated. Most of what is real, and meaningful, and true is mysteriously impervious to language. Nothing truly valuable can be bestowed upon you. But sometimes you can be guided to the light that already burns within. No one will ever see what you do not already see yourself, and that kind of seeing is not done with the body’s eyes.
There are places on this earth that make you feel alive, invigorated, whole. Go to them. It is there you will find the truth that cannot be written. Get off the carousel. Derail the caboose. Bushwhack through the brambles and subject your skin to thorns. Somewhere, off the worn path, in the high weeds, a feeling will wash over you that you will, out of habit, struggle to surmise. Surrender. Just breathe, and let your words go. Blow them out before you like dandelion spores and watch them float away nonsensically.
“We are webbed together in an intricately sewn tapestry of metaphor and poïesis.”
A poet is intricately sewn. Memory, perception, emotion. These are the threads. It’s tempting to see time as the needle. It fits the metaphor so well. The needle of time. A poet is the eye of the needle of time. A poet is a tapestry. A writer can be too, but the difference between a poet and a writer is that a poet is not bound to clarity or form. But a poet is bound rhythm.
The work of a writer is less ostensibly biographical, whereas a poet cannot hide the self revealed. A poet bares all. A poet places herself in a position of vulnerability. A poet is not afraid to be known. We all need to be poets, now. The world needs more emotional truth.
The thing that seems to be missing is this honest manifestation of the fallible, imperfect self. That’s what it means to be authentic. To reveal the disheveled soul.
Amy Glynn is a poet I know. And it is a great privilege to know a great poet personally. It means you get to watch all the gears turn, and sometimes seize up and then start turning again. Poems like Amy’s emerge from a life lived rigorously, and honestly, with an artistic intent. Artistry is merely alchemy. And poetry is transmutation. It is an amazing tool, poetry. And to be a poet is lucky. Because a poet will always remember herself. A poet can get lost but will always return back to the root.
Art, if we let it, transforms us. Or, perhaps, shows us who we truly were, prior to our transformation. Art leads us to truth, beyond explaining. It too is impervious to language yet language can convey the light between the cracks.
I love the poem included in this ODE, American Sweetgum, from Amy’s collection, A Modern Herbal. These are poems best read aloud to someone you love, even if that someone is just yourself. And who better to serenade than the soul that is close? So step outside, love. The sky’s all asterisked.