And Here I Am Again

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Tiny feather from the head of a Whooping Crane. (Grus americana). Part of the captive flock at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.

The intellectual measures
   with precision
the arc between meter and rhythm
   between metaphor and imagery.

Each word slotted carefully before grouting.
Each word tossed into a spinning wheeled thesaurus
    to extricate its precise meaning.
Each word marked by relative rarity amongst it brethren,
a jury/a peerage of one,
cleaving to itself in mighty accord.

Scalpel-like, it clears away
   detritus by filleting the core from the extraneous,
a blastocyst
ravaging art
for the sake of the mental equivalent
     of a headboard knot dance,

It is now alone.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2013

Posted for Poets United


  1. ha. i love the last line...i am def not an intellectual. ha. its hard for me to be at least...form poetry being the last on my list...i just let it find its own rhythm...and words fall where they may...smiles.

  2. I like the way you have written about the art of writing poetry here. Some forms definitely DO demand precision as the words are slotted in the proper place.. Enjoyed this, Audrey. I will have to do a bit more of this in my writing. Ha.

  3. as a poet and also an academic I often experience the dilemma of dissection and personal aesthetic of my teachers used to say that poetry cant actually be taught.she would have loved ur take, as do I.

  4. Enjoyed this. As a writer I don't even consider myself a poet, but a writer who occasionally does poetry.

  5. What an excellent analogy you have used here.

  6. Wow. An impressive approach to poetry. I resonate with Mary - I need to do more of this type of work:) Love it and the crane feather, too.

  7. I like your analysis here! Of course I am an intellectual, at least partly, but don't want to be left alone after measuring, slotting, tossing, dissecting, reducing and all thee rest. So, yes! Something to think about.

  8. This is a thought provoking poem! I reread it several times. Somehow, it seems to me the intellectual in the poem seems to be taking all the joy out of the piece of writing, ultimately leaving him/herself alone ....... perhaps without any words!!! I loved your description of the editing process, however. Writing can be lonely! Tanka Whirl

  9. Brilliant thoughts on poetry. Sums up what all writers do.

  10. Audrey simply brilliantly creative. Loved this!

  11. I love the second stanza ~ There is much work to be done with searching, paring it down and letting the word stand by itself ~

  12. Although most people would disagree, I am not an intellectual. I am more of a feeler, and I know you understand that. :)

  13. I found this original and enjoyable. Very strong writing, and good.

  14. The quill...the "pluma" as they call it in Spanish...and mightier than the sword. Yes...all these images came to mind when I read. Awesome!

  15. I is such a powerful being and can transform into something majestic or get dejected from life...choice is ours!

    Beautiful translation, Audrey!

  16. Each word marked by relative
    rarity amongst it brethren

    The right choice at the right place. But in poetry it is more! The right word, the location,context,and the situation will all work together. Well said Audrey!


  17. Ah, the olde headboard knot dance, I did a bit of that last night myself. Carving and whittling away with words, I think stardust upon trellis and filagreed moonbeam were some of the detritus cleared away, leaving only a single rose hanging from the ceiling light.

    is any of this making sense. :) I hope not!


  18. The sense of care and contemplation - the headboard knot - very evident here. Thanks, Audrey. This is Karin on Manicddaily, on a mobile device that wants to use an old blogger account. k.

  19. Wow, so beautiful, but with me poetry is not such an exacting science. Perhaps that is why mine does not have the mystique of yours. It is just my heart and mind overflowing and me trying to keep up and quickly gather the thoughts before they are carried away like your feather.


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