Monday, April 5, 2010

Poetic Medicine.

Can you write about poetry without questioning the form itself? Can you talk about poetry without stirring a barrel full of opinions, emotions, prejudices, passions?

Even today, when asking myself about poetry, there is a faint, feeble echo of a no, noo, nooo,.... At the same time I can hear my own vocal cords singing YES, YES, YES with a loud, clear voice.

I avoided the poetry assignments at school. There was something about the word “poetry analysis” that put me off. It seemed like an enormous task, like doing the dishes, or solving a mathematical riddle.

Then one day, when school was just a memory, a poem came knocking on my door. It was not one of those poems that shakes the earth with revolutionary truths about man and spirit and heaven and hell. This was a poem that wiped her feet before entering, a poem that demanded nothing of me, other than I noticed she was there.

Did William Carlos Williams write this poem on one of his prescription pads? I have no idea. Other than it worked as a wonder cure for me and my apprehension about poetry.

so much depends

a red wheel


glazed with rain


beside the white



  1. Grete, I love your blog! I followed you here from Erin's blog post today and I'm so glad I did! This is one of the first poems I memorized in Jr. High School and it's still a favorite. In fact, (don't laugh) I have an old red wheelbarrow in my back yard filled with flowers with this poem written on the side of it. LOL! A photo of it is on the sidebar of my blog. Blessings!

  2. I am pleased to be new to this poem. And I laughed in reading it because yes, so much does depend on that red wheel barrow. And we are demanded to think on it, aren't we?

    I think about poetry analysis and immediately think of a certain teacher I had who had very fat feet but insisted on wearing very tiny high heeled shoes. She didn't fit into her shoes. Poetry will not ever fit neatly into analysis. Ha! on her!


  3. Marion -

    No I’m not laughing about the wheelbarrow. Poetry in the garden is no laughing matter :-) As Erin says, so much depends on that wheelbarrow...

    Love the photo on you blog!

    Erin -

    Ha! Yes, I can just see those BIG feet in the tiny shoes. Perhaps she should have worn slippers instead, with spikes on them....