Poetry is the journal of the sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. Poetry is a search for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and the unknowable. Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away. Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance - Carl Sandburg..........Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one's soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject - John Keats .........Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge - William Wordsworth ..........Poets utter great and wise things which they do not themselves understand - Plato .........No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher. For poetry is the blossom and the fragrance of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions, language - Samuel Taylor Coleridge .........One demands two things of a poem. Firstly, it must be a well-made verbal object that does honor to the language in which it is written. Secondly, it must say something significant about a reality common to us all, but perceived from a unique perspective. What the poet says has never been said before, but, once he has said it, his readers recognize its validity for themselves - W. H. Auden ...........Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash - Leonard Cohen .........There is a pleasure in poetic pains which only poets know - William Cowper .........Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood -T. S. Eliot ..........Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason - Novalis...........He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life - George Sand .........A poem is never finished, only abandoned - Paul Valery ........A poet is a bird of unearthly excellence, who escapes from his celestial realm arrives in this world warbling. If we do not cherish him, he spreads his wings and flies back into his homeland - Kahlil Gibran.............Poetry should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance - John Keats..........To be a poet is a condition, not a profession - Robert Frost........A poem is true if it hangs together. Information points to something else. A poem points to nothing but itself - E. M. Forster.........Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo - Don Marquis...........Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things - T. S. Eliot ..........You can tear a poem apart to see what makes it tick. You're back with the mystery of having been moved by words. The best craftsmanship always leaves holes and gaps so that something that is not in the poem can creep, crawl, flash or thunder in - Dylan Thomas .........Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words - Paul Engle......... There is not a joy the world can give like that it takes away! Lord Byron

I whom you see I'm not human....

Jumoke Verissimo - Nigeria

 

1.

 

I whom you see I'm not human

Before you is the wrist of a town

The voice that cloned hearts to being

My hands acts as lever, bracing grief

 

I have welts that's wealth on my back

Here is the one who smiles at torture

I have dressed my soul in steel

I eat out the infliction of afflictions

 

I have been caught in fire I burnt not

Outlasting the flame to kindle it afresh

Here, before you, is the ornament

Carried over, one world into another

 

I see before I have seen, I'm no seer

But pain stewed into regular meal

Have tutored me into anger-strike

Before you is a broken chain, mended

 

I whom you see I'm not human

Before you is a dream in stanzas

The rhythm, the song, the harmony

The hand that soothes a clan's ache

 

III

 

Here's a voice, silenced.

Speaking against hunger

 

Here's a voice, broken

Screaming against breach

 

Me.

 

Made at home

Used across borders

 

Me.

 

A deity with no face

Spiriting every home

 

Me

 

Closed. Open.

Unknown. Popular

 

Me

The flavour

The herb

 

Anticipating...

 

So when you ache

When pain eats

Deep

Into the blood

And your bone cracks

 

Your cells freeze

With eyes unfocused

Your mind in staccato

And night comes

 

When you think healing

Will come only in the morning

That night, I will be appear

 

You'll say: healer. And I'll bring

Cure into your joints, watch it seep

Down, and you--the resting place

Shall lean against me, and be balanced.

For, I whom you see I'm not human

 

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