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How Poetry Comes to Me

Much like poetry, living comes to each of us and it blunders along just out of view from us. It is like sitting around a campfire and knowing there is something outside the ring of light the fire casts.

Within the ring of light, there is a warmth, perhaps a certainty. We think we know what is happening next. In truth, the living happens just outside our reach. Wendell Berry describes it as happening, but, once it happens, we cannot be fully describe it.

Gary Snyder wrote about his poetry writing as having to go meet the poetry just outside the range of his campfire. When we are attentive and mindful of each moment and what is just beyond our reach and vision, life dances at the edge of the light, like poetry.

Instead of certain answers, we encounter questions that cannot be fully answered, but help form the conversation and poetry that is our living.

It comes blundering over the

 Boulders at night, it stays

 Frightened outside the

 Range of my campfire

 I go to meet it at the

 Edge of the light


About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

13 responses »

  1. Instead of certain answers, we encounter questions…we go to meet it at the edge of the light. Journey of a curious soul. ❤

  2. I have a difficult time with writing poetry. I have written only one, true, decent poem in my life, and I had to mess with it for years to get it to be okay.
    However, recently I’ve been composing little Haikus. Seems like I can sort of handle those!

  3. It’s pioneering in the best sense: opening pathways between the conscious and the unconscious domains, providing signposts for those who would follow. I find myself resonating somewhere inside to this campfire image, Ivan, and to the poem you have created.

  4. I like this notion, very much. I’ve often thought that poets see the world differently, but maybe they see a slightly different world.

  5. For me it doesn’t blunder but dances quietly around me in a spiritual realm. I have to be very still to hear the silent voice that wants to be spoken. It’s a new experience. I just started writing poetry seriously this last year in my 60s.

  6. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:


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