I’ve begun writing poetry regularly during the last few years. Before that, most of my creative work was in the visual arts. Working with words at this point in my life is a great challenge, but one that I enjoy. Because I’m familiar with the language, so to speak, of printmaking or design or painting, I can look at artwork and know what works and doesn’t for me. This is much harder for me with words. What seems to work best for now is a lot of rereading to give myself distance from what I’ve written. That way I catch words or phrases that feel somehow off key or wrong in the poem. The other thing that I find very helpful is reading great poetry, which I do everyday.
The poem in this post is a short one I’ve recently written. The first line is part of a phrase that came to me in the state between waking and sleeping. I jotted it down in the dark so I wouldn’t forget it. I think of the poem as a lullaby for people of all ages who are going through a frightening time.
Take up the Night:
Take up the night before you
this is no time for fear
the darkness has a kind face too
sleep in its steadfast gaze
in the arms of the soul’s beloved.
©Lily S. May, 2013