Why Good Writing Begins and Ends in Poetry

What does the fabric consist of that makes a good writer? I daresay, one ingredient is the love of language. Having said that, I really like this article and the way the writer defines (and finds) poetry…

Romance Language

About 15 years ago, as I worked on the final stages of my dissertation, I often got stuck (as people working on dissertations tend to). Sometimes days would pass without my producing anything. But eventually, I would remember my foolproof method for getting unstuck: reading and writing poetry.

Let me note for clarification that poetry had nothing to do with my dissertation subject. I wrote a very social-sciency study of students in a freshman composition class. From a semester of observing, reading papers, and interviewing students, I crafted a set of case studies trying to explain why some of the students gained more than others. My final product reads way more like anthropology than it does like Nikki Giovanni.

Nevertheless, I turned to poetry while I wrote, as I have turned to it many times before and since. And wherever I see brilliance in writing, I find elements of the…

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Come rest against my shoulder,
The sun is setting soon.
So I can count the stars for you
And we can watch the moon.

I know that you are weary.
Not easy is the road.
So rest against my shoulder,
Lay down your heavy load.

No, I can’t take your burden
And carry it away.
But I can lend a hand, dear,
To hold you when you sway.

The times are ever changing,
The tides they come and go.
You’re longing for security
And this, my dear, I know.

You have so many questions,
You search for what is true.
And if I had the answers,
I’d give them all to you.

Yet, all I have to offer
is me, myself and I.
So let this be your haven,
If only for tonight.

Soon there will come the morning.
Your hope it will be new.
Come rest against my shoulder,
And I might sleep then, too.





lighting up whenever you speak



that will not come



only for you



softly saying your name



that never lasts



always preferred



insufficiently disguised


you see


do you dare


to observe?




On a beautiful day they would walk in the park

Where the music was playing until after dark.

And the people would come there to laugh and to dance

And the violins would play there for fun and romance.

A couple is walking and crossing the lawn

And he’s taking her hand for a dance in the dawn.

There is nobody else and no orchestra there

But he’s humming a tune, and it’s filling the air.

Now the days have gone by, and the times, they have changed.

There are lovely people, but to me, they are strange.

They are happy and lively, enjoying the sun.

And the bandstand’s still there, there is laughter and fun…

~ ~ ~