Friday, April 22, 2011

The Trick

The trick, one poet said to another,
is to make your long lines seem short
and your short lines seem long —
then, let your words echo like freight cars.

That’s no trick, the other poet replied,
it’s just plain common sense.

The talk that followed
was drowned out
by the sound
of a passing train,

thank God.

From Poems, Slightly Used.

Note: I first offered “The Trick” here back on September 8, 2008. I link to it because the one beautiful comment it earned was written by Brian Salchert, a gracious poet-friend and friend to many who passed away August 31, 2010. And I link to that entry because it’s now updated to include burial information thoughtfully sent to me by Brian’s sister, Jean. Through the noise and through the fear, we remember.


erin said...

you have me smiling and then near weeping, busy being utterly human. now, how is that?


William Michaelian said...

That, my friend, is where the trick comes in — having real friends, with real lives, and real imaginations.

Conrad DiDiodato said...


the sound of a passing train is the last thing I want to hear before I die

William Michaelian said...

Conrad, ’tis a gift you’ve given me — again.

Old 333 said...

Hah! That was great. Thanks, William!

@Conrad - if you put your head just so on the rails, you only hear it coming, and don't hear it go by. That way one departs this world in expectation, rather than contemplation.


William Michaelian said...

Peter, thanks, and I thank you too for your brief speech, Wisdom of the Rails.