Advice For A Burgeoning Poet

For We Write Poems Prompt #198: Child’s Play

11-28-11 Zendala 31a2 Underground River

Advice For Burgeoning Poet

Hold on to the sights and sounds
that breathe life
into moments around you.
Learn how to breathe them in as though
you have never done it before,
slowly and deeply.

Hold on to the words
which tickle your inner ear,
hum lightly on your tongue,
keeping thrumming beat that repeatedly sweeps
through your bloodstream.

Hold on to that child-like awe of language,
constantly reaching to scratch
writing itch you wish sometimes
you didn’t possess.

Hold on to the music within your soul.
Let it teach you to pirouette, set your thoughts
to leaping and prancing,
even when no one else is willing to take
the chance to dance
with you.

Hold on to your right to express the you
that you alone have created.
Even when others think you nothing more
than a fool, bent only toward foolishness,
remain on the path
that your light opens
before you.

Hold on tight to the words
and their meanings
even if, and especially when,
the rest of the world
goes silent.

Elizabeth Crawford  1/30/14

Notes: This is the result of a bare bones fill-in-the blank exercise found at Instant Poetry located here:  and the final prompt I posed for the month of January. This was the first of several forms I tried at the above mentioned site, but the one that really clicked immediately. It surprised me with its eagerness to be fleshed out. We humans are a trinity of being: the heart, the mind, and the soul. I found myself unwilling to let go of this piece until I had addressed all three of those aspects of the individual who would be a poet/prophet/hermit. Once a teacher, always a teacher, I guess. Image is a digitally manipulated pen and ink line weaving drawing. Although many songs could accompany this writing, I think this is the one that says it best:

About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
This entry was posted in Advice For A Burgeoning Poet and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Advice For A Burgeoning Poet

  1. Geraldine says:

    Good advice and so true!


  2. Mary says:

    Wonderful advice, Elizabeth. I especially like this:

    “Hold on to your right to express
    the you that you alone have created.”

    So very important to write one’s own words, one’s own thoughts in one’s own way. They should be held onto as the gold that they are!


  3. I love the advice here – every line! I especially like “hum lightly on your tongue,” and there the words sit until a pen/computer can be found to spill the words on to!


  4. Misky says:

    I tried this same form on their site. It’s scheduled for release tomorrow. I’m glad that you highlighted that site. It’s good fun. Lovely poem.



  5. I really like this- the whole thing, line by line is good advice…and this!
    Even when others think you nothing more
    than a fool, bent only toward foolishness,
    remain on the path
    that your light opens
    before you.


  6. Irene says:

    I like to hold onto “burgeoning” when “the rest of the world goes silent”.


  7. I so love “hold onto the music within your soul”…..And especially “remain on the pat hthat your light opens before you.” Fantastic write, my friend!


  8. Working backwards…that song…I love that song and I’m so grateful that you brought it back for us…2004 feels like yesterday.

    I so enjoy your note at the end…your work is so intentional and inspired…inspiring, Elizabeth.

    I’m curious which set of bones you used…the results are breath-taking…you start out strong and keep building powerfully till the end…en-rapt with this poem.

    I love how grounded and in the body this poem is and the portion on dancing is invigorating and empowering.

    Great read!!

    Thank you for hosting WWP this month!


  9. julespaige says:

    You have reminded me that I forgot to post the link to the wonderful prompt site on my post.
    I probably will repeat others sentiments – that I am sure as poets we all relate well to.
    How often before the blog community allowed us to evolve into a wonderful poetic community did we sing in silence?

    I think my Tea Pot recital was when I was in kindergarten or 1st grade. While I have read a few times sort of publicly – the one I remember most was at my father’s funeral, where I could not look away from my paper because then tears would block my vision.

    While not quite on the same level, reading our own words is like birthing a child. And once out there…and free, it can go wild, be misunderstood, and sometimes showered with praise.

    Thanks again for your continued support. ~Jules


  10. Yousei Hime says:

    And never give up the metaphor. 😉


  11. Even the rocks will cry out. The poets, who cannot live without speaking. I wish I had seen this poem (or something like it) as a teenager — it might have encouraged me to keep writing in spite of what my family said (poetry is a waste of time, do something practical with your life, yada yada yada). But, I did come back to the great work — after some cajoling from my fiance and a realization that life is not meant to be lived just to survive.

    As Barbara Fant put it, “They tell me to give up on this poetry life, y’all — but I don’t know another way to pray”.



Leave a Reply

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