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Living Things

Anne Porter used poetry to describe how text becomes a living thing, always seeking new meaning from readers and listeners. As we read and listen, we find new meaning in the words, the spaces, and the punctuation.

Text is not only about the words, but about the context (who, where, and when), pretext (previous meanings), and subtext (what is hidden from sight). As we read and listen, we ask questions that cannot be fully answered.

Our poems
Are like the wart-hogs
In the zoo
It’s hard to say
Why there should be such creatures

But once our life gets into them
As sometimes happens
Our poems
Turn into living things
And there’s no arguing
With living things
They are
The way they are

Our poems
May be rough
Or delicate
Little
Or great

But always
They have inside them
A confluence of cries
And secret languages

And always
They are improvident
And free
They keep
A kind of Sabbath

They play
On sooty fire escapes
And window ledges

They wander in and out
Of jails and gardens
They sparkle
In the deep mines
They sing
In breaking waves
And rock like wooden cradles.

About ivonprefontaine

I am a retired educator who recently completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. My dissertation topic and research was how teachers experience becoming who they are as teachers, as human subjects. For me, teaching is a calling and vocation that allows me to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what will call me. We have begun a small consulting and leadership firm called Rocky River Leadership & Consulting Ltd.

6 responses »

  1. Very nice poem and excellent message.

    Reply
  2. So true! And the poem exemplifies the message so well. Many layers and meanings.

    Reply

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