A POEM DESCRIBES NOTHING

Image result for bird on a branch in renaissance painting

A poem describes nothing. My words

Fool you. A poem is my reaction to the thing,

Not the thing. There are no birds

Who fly from branch to branch and sing.

If you want to be fooled, I certainly cannot say

You are wrong, but everything you believe here will die—

A poem is false, and a false display,

Shadows impossible to verify,

Even if what the poet is feeling is true;

A poet describes a feeling for a feeling you cannot see—

Not only is the thing invisible, the feeling can’t be seen by you

And that makes you, the reader, blind.

Why is this truth of poetry almost never told?

Since poetry isn’t history it can only be abstractly mean, or kind,

And those who are truly mean, or kind, don’t care. A poem is cold.

A poem describes nothing. And to try

Is only an insane attempt to pull off an elaborate lie,

A lie which lies about a lie which is lying,

And a bit of empathy is felt because the poetry is trying,

And that’s the best empathy can do.

People need to stop saying a poem is true.

Once, sure, you happily read

My poem. When you loved me. Well that’s what you said.

 

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