When you left
you took my tears and dropped them
and they bounced like marbles on the street.
I changed the last bit of the short poem. Originally I had “sand” – the lines were written ages ago – but marbles would not bounce on sand. The next word was “gruft”, but that’s a German word (meaning grave or vault), then I tried “road”, but it sounded wrong, so now it’s “street”. What might be trivial in prose is existential in poetry. I think that’s what fascinates me. You cannot waste a single word in poetry. Of course, there are wordy poems. I used to read poetry rather than children’s books when I was young. I could just about read when I found a big book of his endless sagas and I used to read eveything out loud! The one I liked best was “Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast” from the “Song of Hiawatha” by Longfellow. Longfellow had absolute mastery of rhythm. Even as a child, the musician in me connected with that. But his imagery is incredibly colourful, too. For a complete edition of that poem (about 700 pages long) go to www.gutenberg.org and type “Longfellow”.