Two Poems on Poetry

I love reading writers on writing — interviews with authors about how they work, where they work, why they write, and so on. The Guardian has a series on writers’ rooms that I love to pop into now and again; here’s Seamus Heaney’s.

This week I’m reading two very different poems about poetry and writing poetry. Charles Wright is the current United States Poet Laureate; his poem “Reunion” is short, and very personal. He ends the poem with,

I write poems to untie myself, to do penance and disappear
Through the upper right-hand corner of things, to say grace.

Archibald MacLeish’s “Ars Poetica” is a playful, self-contradictory riff on Horace’s famous work of the same name, a set of guidelines for the crafting of poetry. In his rather famous and formulation,

A poem should not mean
But be.

What are your favorite poems about poetry?

Two notes from the poetry world:

Apparently a treasure-trove of lost Neruda poems has been found. (The Guardian)

Charles Simic’s tribute to his friend Mark Strand is wonderful, moving, human. (NYRB)


6 thoughts on “Two Poems on Poetry

  1. I also love reading about how writers work, and seeing the rooms they work in. Even though I am not a writer, I like to imagine what my own writing room would be like, if I had one. 🙂

What's on your mind? Leave a comment here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s