Mythopoesis 25 – What Is A Poem

For NaPoWriMo  Day 25

10-30-11 Zentangle 8What Is A Poem?

Embarrassed by his open display
of exuberance, the man from Interlude
bowed his head after telling the child
that her mother was a wise teacher.
She smilingly nodded.

The children’s teacher stepped
forward saying, You are Darien,
of the Counsel of Bards, are you

Nodding, “Yes, I am, but how
would you know that? It has been
a long while since I have spoken
to the Counsel.”

When I was still in school, I went
to the city to hear you read. Aside
from your beard, you look much
the same and your voice still holds
a certain timber that is hard to forget.
Will you stay a while and speak to us
about poetry, the making of poems,
Maliah’s poem, and why you
clapped after hearing it?

Looking around at all those expectant
faces, nodding, he walked over to a boy,
who sat apart. Unaware of Maliah’s swift
fearful glance at her teacher, he squatted
in front of the child and asked, “Can you tell me
what you thought about the poem?”

I kinda liked it, but didn’t understand
how a poem could be a kitten. That
just doesn’t make sense.

“That’s very good. The poem made you
think. Can you tell me what you heard
when Maliah was reading her poem?”

I heard about a small kitten
exploring his world.

“And what did you see, inside of your head,
when you heard about that kitten?”

Grinning, I saw the kitten, small,
white, with a black heart spot
in the middle of his forehead. He
reaches with his paws, smells things,
and probably chews on a lot of them.

“What did you feel when you heard
and saw all of that?”

Sort of happy and light, like
that bouncing, pouncing kitten.
I wanted to be there, playing
with him. And a bit sad that I
couldn’t be there.

“Very good. What is your name?”


“Well, Joey, I asked you those questions
because the teacher has asked me
to talk about poems and making them.
There are three things a good poem should do.
It should use words to tell you about a moment,
or an experience. More important, it should use
those words to create a picture of that moment.
And most important of all, it should make you
feel like you are in that moment and maybe
help you see something about yourself.
Your answers to my questions tell me
that Maliah’s poem is a very good poem
because it did all of those things.”

Elizabeth Crawford 4/25/15

Notes: This post is a bit lengthy. However, I feel that it is at the crux of this myth-making experiment, so trust that it will all make sense, eventually. Because I am still without a computer, I’ve been reading a great deal, or doodling. Which means I’ve been revisiting Dean Koontz. In one of his books, I found a brief paragraph about what makes a poem, a good poem. Because I agree with what he wrote, I used his explanation, putting it into my own words and the context of this piece of the myth.
The image is a free-hand, pen and ink zendala I created several years ago.

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:
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