Poetry & Words

POETRY & WORDS :: There are no rules in poetry except

 

Poetry has no rules, it has been said.
I say, rules exist. They lie
in how poetry should be read.

For instance, one cannot
read Octavio Paz
without first pausing
to sink into a faded velvet chair
of some bookstore
now out of mode and forgotten

And when
one reads the words of Billy
Collins it can only be
at a kitchen table
after dark
by the light of a single flame.

Shakespeare’s for the school halls, read
by one who thinks he knows
and Dickinson’s for the garden
with a single yellow rose.

Frenzied prose is for the birds,
scattered in the mist of ancient cobblestone
a panicked pandemonium set off
by the toss of a head
or sleight of hand.

But the poem, in all its outdated ink
remains unruffled
and to think

you nearly passed it by.