The Place Where Poetry is Born #earthweal

Oh, come with me
I’ll take you down
to the place where poetry is born
beneath the sea
within the waves
cresting the corralled entrance of a cave:
the place where poetry is born
inside the bubble
of a drowning breath
this letting go, this
little death
this region undefined within the mind
this heart’s uncharted depths
the place where poetry is born
of ancient wisdom
spoken in a dream
the dawn of life
and all the years between
mean little in the place
where time’s nature illusory 
is seen
within
the place
where poetry is born.

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Written for earthweal

This week, Brendan asks us to write about Ben Bolcain, a wood to which mad Sweeney, in the Irish legend, would retire once a year to find rest and companionship:

‘Sweeney undergoes a transformation in the wood; he suffers greatly in his wandering, yet as a result the king slowly learns to sing a clear-eyed vision of the bigger, older word. He becomes a poet.’

I chose to write my own version of Ben Bolcain, something I had in draft, having spent a lot of time thinking about where poetry comes from.

44 thoughts on “The Place Where Poetry is Born #earthweal

Add yours

  1. This is gorgeous Ingrid and so much to the source of poetry. The salmon of wisdom are fattened on hazel-nuts dropped in the deep waters by the Tree — so too the poem feeds on sources — “beneath the sea / within the waves” to give birth in song. Great response to the challenge.

  2. Lovely, to travel down the lines of this poem to the places poetry is born. I noted in particular “this letting go, this
    little death”
    in the middle of the poem, and I said, yes, this too. Thank you addressing this particular journey.

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