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Kim Rosen’s book, Saved by a Poem is a marvelous way to explore poetry — and explore it deeply. I didn’t have to memorize any poetry growing up. I’m a little envious of those who did, for they have it with them now. The problem is that most of them had to memorize poems that had no meaning for them: “Charge of the Light Brigade” or such. Of course that left a bad taste in their mouth.

Kim recommends you find a poem that really means something to you, one that touches you, one that you’ll be able to call on later. She provides many examples in her book, along with a CD of spoken poems. Some of the poems are spoken by the poets themselves and some are spoken by her friends.

I decided to start out with a short poem mostly because I had little faith in my memorization ability. I chose Gwendolyn Brooks’ “The Egg Boiler.”

THE EGG BOILER

Being you, you cut your poetry from wood.
The boiling of an egg is heavy art.
You come upon it as an artist should,
With rich-eyed passion, and with straining heart.
We fools, we cut our poems out of air.
Night color, wind soprano, and such stuff.
And sometimes weightlessness is much to bear.
You mock it, though, you name it Not Enough.
The egg, spooned gently to the avid pan,
And left the strict three minute, or the four,
Is your Enough and art for any man.
We fools give courteous ear—-then cut some more,
Shaping a gorgeous Nothingness from cloud.
You watch us, eat your egg, and laugh aloud.

I’ve been working on it for a couple weeks now, off and on. I still don’t have it down completely, but what I’m enjoing most about the exercise is the depth of learning that’s come from repeating each line. The Deep Dive sessions Kim holds (described on her website) sound terribly intriguing.

Get the book or visit Kim’s website to learn more.

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I just received a check for a poem.  Hee! 

Now I am a professional writer.

Being published is almost easy compared to being paid. The bottom line is you just have to keep writing and keep submitting.