Sunday, February 14, 2010

Be Mine!



Before I retired and when I was teaching Creative Writing, this poem was one of my favorites ...

"Valentine for Ernest Mann"


You can't order a poem like you order a taco.
Walk up to the counter, say, "I'll take two"
and expect it to be handed back to you
on a shiny plate.

Still, I like your spirit.
Anyone who says, "Here's my address,
write me a poem," deserves something in reply.
So I'll tell you a secret instead:
poems hide. In the bottoms of our shoes,
they are sleeping. They are the shadows
drifting across our ceilings the moment
before we wake up. What we have to do
is live in a way that lets us find them.

Once I knew a man who gave his wife
two skunks for a valentine.
He couldn't understand why she was crying.
"I thought they had such beautiful eyes."
And he was serious. He was a serious man
who lived in a serious way. Nothing was ugly
just because the world said so. He really
liked those skunks. So, he reinvented them
as valentines and they became beautiful.
At least, to him. And the poems that had been hiding
in the eyes of the skunks for centuries
crawled out and curled up at his feet.
Maybe if we reinvent whatever our lives give us
we find poems. Check your garage, the odd sock
in your drawer, the person you almost like, but not quite.
And let me know.

- Naomi Shihab Nye

9 comments:

  1. Nice words and a cute balloon, I'd always thought she is so sexy! Have a great Valentine's Day.

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  2. So much wisdom in this poem. It's a keeper. I feel the same way about images. To really see you have to have not only your eyes open but you mind as well and you can't be racing through life or you will miss so much. Happy Valentine's Day to you, Kate!

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  3. I love that poem! Thank you for sharing it. Happy Valentine's Day.

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  4. Beautiful poem!
    Happy Valentine's Day!

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  5. Words to live by! Happy Valentine's Day.

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  6. Happy Valentine's Day, creative writing teacher! Once a teacher, always a teacher!

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  7. Thank for sharing this pearl, Happy Valentine!

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  8. What fabulous and moving words, Kate. Thanks for this. Cute balloon too.

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  9. I really like this poem. Thanks for sharing.

    Hope you had a great V-day!

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