Sometime not too long ago, I came across the enchanting poem “Emily Dickinson and Elvis Presley in Heaven.” I’m not sure if someone shared it on the Roundup or if I stumbled across it elsewhere, but I liked it so much that I printed it out and tucked it into my writing notebook, where I stumbled across it again today. (Update–Tabatha Yeatts linked to this poem last fall in this post.)
Who is this Hans Ostrom? I wondered. This poem is so quirky and engaging. What else has he written? A quick google search revealed that Hans Ostrom is an accomplished professor, writer, and scholar. I also discovered the poem below which appealed to me no less, but quite differently, than Emily and Elvis had.
“How to Write A Poem: A Poem”
First, clear the area of critics.
Next, grab an image or a supple
length of language and get going.
It’s all you now. Mumble, sing,
murmur, rage, rumble, mock,
quote, mimic, denounce, tell,
tease. Recall, refuse, regret,
reject. Dive, if you dare, into
psychic murk. Down there grab
the slick tail of something quick.
….(click on the link to read the poem in its entirety)
This poem ends with the lines:
“…when and if
in doubt, remember: what you want
to be is to be writing. ”
And if you’re looking for poetic inspiration to kickstart your own writing, make sure to visit poetic dynamo Laura Purdie Salas at her blog, Writing the World for Kids. She’s sharing information about her newest book, Meet My Family, and hosting this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup.