Friday, July 12, 2013

How to prune a poet

I'm not prolific.
To get more lines from me
you'd have to prune me first—
grab your hand shears,
cut my creaking, errant excess out.

But do it right, at the right times,
never in winter,
during my hibernation.
Trim me with a cultivator's touch,
after lavishing me with water,
nourishing me, tending my petals
as if you were in love.

Don't hack, how brutal.
You could leave wounds
that would never heal.
I could become infected;
then I'd lower my limbs
in a defeated poet's stupor.
And at the most, I'd write of throbs,
an egregious injury
the likes of which you,
grimy gloved, would never feel.

Megaera, Vol.8, Issue 3, No. 26, Summer 2006

sharing with Poets United 7/14


  1. Likening writing poetry to tending a flowering plant - what a lovely metaphor.

  2. I think I had fun writing this one a few years ago. Thanks, you two!

  3. yes, prune, but do so carefully. :) thanks, J!

  4. thank you for your comment, lisa!

  5. I too loved this! Prune carefully and kindly!

  6. Hi Janet, glad that you found your way to Poets United. You mentioned having some kind of 'trouble.' If you have some kind of issue, post on my blog and I will try to lend a hand. Your poem is a good one. We need to prune another very gently, I think. Hope we will see you again and often.

  7. Thank you, Audrey, and nice to meet you. :)
    Thank you also, Mary, and for offering to help. I think I'm just a bit lost finding my way around (and wondering if I registered twice, etc.).

  8. welcome to poets united...i def agree that as poets we need pruning...smiles...and shaping to help us get along and find our hearts and voices...def though it needs to be approached gently...smiles.

  9. Thanks, Brian, for the welcome, and your comments!

  10. I love the title of this piece, and the pruning instructions.....witty and droll. I so enjoyed it. So nice to see you in the Pantry!

  11. I'm glad this poem works for you, Sherry. Thanks for your kind remarks and welcome.

  12. Nice use of extended metaphor here. I'm sure many can relate to your theme.

  13. Hi Janet...It will take a few times of posting before I had you to the blogroll. I will keep watching for you the next few times. Take care. Mary

  14. Thank you, Kerry!
    And thanks, Mary, for the follow-up! :)

  15. We need TLC, that's for sure, or else we lanquish.

    Loved your poem.


  16. thanks, adelaide, yes, we do.
    and thanks for using languish in your comment, which allowed me to find the big typo in my poem - corrected now! wonder if anyone else saw it, lol.