poetry needs to be heard

When I write poetry, I always speak it aloud, playing with words and their arrangement until it sounds right to me. I truly believe poems need to be read aloud whether to ourselves or to other poetry lovers (always being aware of Wyslawa Szymborska’s warning).

Here’s my poetry prescription–a little touch of doggerel with a message:

for best results a poem
cannot be
left in a book,

it likes to be recited
to a neighbour—or a chook—
to a friend who knows you very well
or one you’ve newly met.

release a poem from its bondage
and it works a magic spell
and the outcome—
you will tell me—
leads your heart and mind to dwell
in those places which we hardly dare
allow ourselves to see,

you will find this–
I assure you–
if you set a poem free.