"Think In Ways You've Never Thought Before" / by Christina Rosalie

I went to hear Robert Bly speak tonight, and felt, after listening to him read in his Minnesota accent, from his newest collection of poems, utterly vibrant. It was a little like touching the glass on an observation beehive, where the warmth from the thousand beating wings transfers instantly into the palm of your hand. Like that: warmth saturating my being, making me huger for more than I already have---more words, more knowledge, more courage, more poems.

He said: “I asked William Stafford ‘how can you write a poem every morning?’ and Bill said, ‘Just lower your standards.’”

Then he said: “Start with anything—whatever happens, and write one every day.”

My favorite poem he read tonight was this one, from his book titled Morning Poems.

Things to Think Think in ways you've never thought before. If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message Larger than anything you've ever heard, Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.

Think that someone may bring a bear to your door, Maybe wounded and deranged; or think that a moose Has risen out of the lake, and he's carrying on his antlers A child of your own whom you've never seen.

When someone knocks on the door, think that he's about To give you something large: tell you you're forgiven, Or that it's not necessary to work all the time, or that it's Been decided that if you lie down no one will die.

** I’m making this my challenge for the rest of September. A morning poem every day. Some morsel that reaches out and touches wonder. Some collection of scraps that, when gathered together, contains the beautiful remnants of a day.

“You can say anything in language.” He said, daring us to try.

Care to join me?