How to be a Poet

Make a place to sit down.
Sit down.
Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill-more of each
than you have-inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity.  Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgement.
Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensional life;
stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no un-sacred places
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.
Accept what comes from silence.
make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.
                                     — Wendell Barry

Posted by | Paul Reynolds
Paul has been a yoga teacher on the Island of Kauai for many years and is the facilitator of the weekly Living the Question Blog - a repository of wisdom and inspiration. Paul also produces and hosts Le Guru is You Radio Show, showcasing everyday gurus.

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