Why I Am A Poet

Me writing poetry by flashlight beside the campfire.
Me writing poetry by flashlight beside the campfire.

Poetry, the thing

That makes words

Do things

They were not designed to do. 

Why do I?

Because I know

Thought is not

Adequately expressed

By words alone. 

In person

A person

Uses facial expression

Body language

And that might be enough

But sometimes not

Sometimes

As Pinsky says

Meaning is

"... not in the words, not even

Between the words, but a torsion,

A cleavage, a stirring." 

Exactly. 

In the space between words

A thing

Happens

You can't even tell what it is

Not with science

Or sense

Or anything

That is why I am a poet

Because meaning

The thing

That defines life

Cannot be found

In the words

Or even

Between the words

But only

In

Poetry. 

 

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Comments 41 comments

Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

Wow!!! Brilliant, Tom! ... beyond the space between words? That's an awesome thought!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Hey Tom! Where have you been hiding? Obviously off working on some spare, insightful poetry.

Mr. Pinsky -- was teaching English back when I was in college. Love the reference to him. Amazing poet.

Like yours very much. Thumbs up and good to see you back. MM


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 7 years ago from Near the Ocean

Cleavage between words... of course I love that idea. Then something beyond the cleavage, even better. Cheers Tom.


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Thank you, Shalini. Pinsky put into words my thought.

Ya, MM, Pinsky is just plain awesome!

Randy, an extreme pleasure as always. Pinsky's word, 'cleavage'. A good word, though, as we would both agree :)


sheenarobins 7 years ago

me like very much what you wrote. and me wants to be like Tom when he writes. Me, wish to write a poem one day but me is having so much difficulty with words to create a poem. =)


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

You can do it, Sheena! I know you can. :0)


Am I dead, yet? 7 years ago

Nice to see you back Tom, or was it me that was missing for a time? I enjoy reading your writing, Tom. This work provided me with some reflection as to why I write poetry as well. Thanks for the deep thought, Tom. A rare occasion for me to be deep in thought at 5.11 am in the morning.


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Ah, I just missed you. Had to get on the bike. Good to see you, too, AIDY! Thank you


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

Tom! Where have you been? it's good to see you back, and back writing poetry too. I like the notion of poetry expressing the meaning between the words. That's why I like poetry too. Less is more, as they say.


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Thank you, Amanda. I've actually been submitting work to journals. I want to get published this year. Thanks again


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

Hey Tom...the grin maker...nice to see ya back in town! Cool poem! The cleavage part jumped right out at me! :)


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Cleavage is an attention-getter, Tom! Thank you


I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s profile image

I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s 7 years ago

I like it... I like it A-lot!


Pest profile image

Pest 7 years ago from A Couch, Lake Odessa, MI

The meaning between the words is where the heart of poetry hides...under all of that cleavage.


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Thanks, Invictus!

If there's meaning, Pest, you go right to it! Thank you


shibashake profile image

shibashake 7 years ago

Love it Tom! Glad you are back. Definitely good to have some cleavage and stirring on HubPages again ;-)


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Thank you, Shibashake. Glad to be back.


Tali Bentley profile image

Tali Bentley 7 years ago from England

Loved your poem, very intriguing and thought provoking. It actually just gave me the spark to get back into my philosophy essay, so thank-you :)


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Oh, excellent! I'll have to be a fan!


Iphigenia 7 years ago

Meaning can only be found within poetry - very true, and yours is laden with meaning and yet not heavy but spot on as is your style. This poem about why you are a poet is a definition of poetry in itself.


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Thank you for your high praise, Iphigenia


osws_bluemoon profile image

osws_bluemoon 7 years ago

A fantastic way of telling us why you write poetry. Really enjoyed it.


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

I'm very glad you did, Osws. :)


Stolas profile image

Stolas 7 years ago from Midwest

Amen brother, I love your unique style, the leading on of your poetry, it flows quick, and precisely. thanks I enjoyed this clean feeling poem.


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Thank you, Stolas! I appreciate your appreciation :)


thanglynn07 profile image

thanglynn07 7 years ago from Long Beach, CA

Oh wow! You explained it perfectly! I loved how you compared it to physical appreance where we can use our features to further express ourselves. That was perfect. Thank you for that... >(^_^)


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Thank you so much, Thangly. You are such an accomplished poet yourself. I am honored you like my work :)


\Brenda Scully 7 years ago

well i am your fan now of course after such a wonderful hub from you....... i think you have been helping me along and i did not even know it.....


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

You are welcome and you deserve it. I am honored that you are my fan.


norah73 profile image

norah73 7 years ago from San Manuel, AZ

Very nice. Smooth flow. Good visual. I enjoyed... thx:)


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Thanks so much, Norah! :0)


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

Thanks for the insights - if and when somebody asks me why I'm a wannabe poet, I'll give the link to this hub :D


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

What a unique way to get traffic! Thanks, Chris :0)


Janetta 7 years ago

exactly :)


\Brenda Scully 7 years ago

oh my god..... i feel i am so stupid now......

i am very slow on the uptake, but it has taken me to be out of my own enviroment, space and time, to see what is going on..... i even read this the other day, so hurriedly that i did not take on it's meaning..... i know you obviously like my work, and have greatly encouraged it ...... but i really know nothing about poetry the rules, different kinds of ways to write it etc.... you could say i am almost un educated as i am not a student. Not really, so am i a poet?????? do you think i could be published as a poet? i am impressed by your profile page, and i am happy for your patience.... as when a deaf person starts to hear, the microphone needs to be turned up slowly slowly slowly, and that is how i have to take things..... it is hard for me to accept the responsibility that comes with my writing.... well to take it one step further anyway... i wonder if i making any sense at all..............


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Thank you, Janetta!

Brenda - every poet asks her or himself these questions daily in the beginning. You don't really need rules to make a poem, but poetry is fun to read and forms are fun to play with. My favorite book on form in poetry is "How to be Well Versed in Poetry" edited by E.O. Parrot. Funny and informative. Another great book is "The Making of a Poem" by Mark Strand and Eavon Borland. That is where I found my excerpt from Pinsky's poem for my work above. I love your work and you need not change a thing. But if you love poetry, as I can see you do, why not explore it, get to know it - its likes and dislikes as it were - as you would any new partner?


\Brenda Scully 7 years ago

yeah i would like to learn more about it to be honest, i will get hold of those books and have a read, here's to a new partnership.... thanks a lot


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

It's fun! Why not? You already write well. These books will just give you more ways to do it.


\Brenda Scully 7 years ago

yeah i would play around with different formats etc, and improve my skills and it will be fun to do also....


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Hi Tom,Hope you don't mind. I linked this hub to mine on the subject of form in poetry.It's called Mudpie Poetry. I prob'ly should have asked permission. But typically I'm the kind who asks for forgiveness instead. LOL.

Cheers and happy poetry writing. MM


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

That's the way, Brenda :)

I'll go one better MM :)

http://hubpages.com/literature/Mudpie-Poetry

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