YOUR POEM IS NOT YOURS

Image result for poetic inspiration in renaissance painting"

You wrote about the day.

You convinced others. But here’s what the one you love has to say:

Your poem is not yours, not because

It is someone else’s, but because it is mine.

Inspiration is all. Who cares who wrote that line?

You wrote this poem when you were alone

And thinking of me, and thinking is everything.

How, you ask, is the poem not your own? Because just like love,

Once love expresses itself, if it is not mine,

It is not love. Poems work the same way;

The subject is unique, I am unique—prior to what you’re going to say.

Love and poetry inhabit the same line.

The poem told you what you wanted to hear.

Your poem was death, but called you, “dear.”

And we are all guilty, and cannot love.

As your poem becomes more perfect, it flies from your reach.

You are forgotten.  Your poem they teach.

You wrote this poem, and because it was good, it turned into mine.

It was given. Not yours anymore. The love, the poem.

Stolen, though you wrote it, in darkness, alone.

In your spitting fire, it was done.

But now it belongs to the air.

I should have written it,

I could have written it. I did. This day, this night,

Was yours; after thinking of me, it was yours to rewrite,

After I kissed you—which made you want me,

And all that I was. In every line

You wanted me, and all I loved—what’s unique is mine.

Think deeply. What is your poetry?

It’s the sweetest thing rhetoric can do.

You never wanted it to be you.

 

 

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