This Is Poetry

Poetry is the Divine
whispering secrets in your ear.
Spoken in the Mother-tongue,
the ancient language
of sounds that
synchronize the soul
and harmonize the heart.
To your ear,
it will be sweet nothings
and the feeling
that you are loved.

Poetry is the lightest touch
from the longed-for lover,
the ever-so-slight
stroke of fingers,
along the nape of your neck,
electric and tingling,
that light up
all your senses
and awaken
your yearning
to be complete.

Poetry is the portal
to the precious treasure
within you;
the passageway
to your highest purpose
and deepest passion,
the doorway
to your destiny
and the future
to which you have
always belonged.

And the key to all poetry
is the heart.

Every word you take
into your heart
will take you to all this
and beyond
to what cannot
be named or numbered.

Each sound you turn
over and over
in your heart
will, in time,
turn up
the secrets
of your own Divine Soul.

Then, if you lend
your whispered voice
to the Mother-Tongue,
the Divine
will echo through you
across time:

In the beginning
was the word
and the word
was with God.

This is poetry.

This Is Poetry is excerpted from my third book of poetry, Divine Whispering, available through amazon.

I am always reticent to share this poem because of the bold claim of the title. I am not known in the world of poets. I have no literary credentials and no foothold in the world of poets. My worst fears about this illegitimacy were realized when I read this poem to a poetry mentor group lead by a famous poet-author. The silence after I finished reading seemed laced with tension. The leader asked for feedback from the group, but there was an edge to his request, and the feedback was generally negative. Afterward, the author denounced the poem outright with a single declarative line, "Well, it's not poetry to me!"

I admit to hurt feelings and I left the session seriously questioning my craft. Poetry has a claim on me that will not let go. The feedback may have touched a nerve, but it did not deter me from my course and, after careful consideration, I decided to keep the poem, and the title, just as it was written. I have shared the poem with groups since then despite my reticence and my illegitimacy as a poet. I cannot say whether this crazy courage rises from foolishness or fearlessness.

To read my blog on the poem and the topic of being a misfit, click here:

Photo, Poem, and Recital © Nick LeForce
All Rights Reserved

What is poetry to you?
How does the divine whisper to you?

How do you respond when someone hits a nerve with negative feedback,
especially toward something about which you are already sensitive?