Not dead yet

They called it dead,
then asked if God was too.
Maybe it is, with wakes
in Lit class, where language cut
is exsanguinated.  But where
what’s bled dries to chalk dust,
sometimes a wing
shudders almost to flight.

We need a forensic examination
of imagination before
a time of death is set
for poetry, after charting
pulseless activity of dreams,
and deny words breathe–

that necessary formality
before I’ll sign my name
in the guest book
full of visitors
who didn’t bring flowers
(enough has been written
about roses), 

who just came to the closed casket,
run fingers over the wood boxing
arguments to the contrary,
finally burying them.



***This is for you guys.  WordPress just sent me a congrats for reaching 500 followers (I guess they don’t count the other 243 followers on Twitter and Facebook–but I do!).   Thanks to you all for proving to me that poetry is not dead.

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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40 Responses to Not dead yet

  1. annotating60 says:

    Really liked this. Needs to be tightened just a bit. Takje some posody out. More lyrical.>KB

  2. davidtrudel says:

    Even if poetry suffers a small death from time to time, its ghost will always haunt the living.

  3. Not dead. Not even resting with people like you around.
    Cograts on the Followers. I hit 100+ yesterday. I sit at the feet of the Master.

    • Duncan, thanks. I will be overwhelmed when/if half of them ever visit me on the same day 😉

      • I have trouble coping now. I’m in two minds about this. I like to have some sort of relationship, however spurious, with my readers, know something about them. It’s getting really hard to do that now. But at the same time, every new Follower makes me think ‘Hey! I’m not bad at this.’ An awkward dilemma.
        I should rename my blog. Oh, no, I’m wrong there. I shouldn’t

  4. Alice Keys says:

    Poetry dead? Not even a asleep:
    Poetry prowls dark alleys on clicking cloven hooves to drink back the blood lost in those overheated halls of academia, hatches mythic beasts from the discarded boiled word-eggs of strangers and lifts lost souls heavenward on the Graf Zeppelin of love.
    Congratulations, Susan. You go girl!

  5. jeglatter says:

    Celebrating with you Susan!

    • Thanks, Jennifer! Actually, I was reading a book recently, where it was suggested that someone make a “You’re Not Dead” cake. That would be appropriate here, too, I think 😉

  6. unfetteredbs says:

    you make poetry alive Susan! I am so glad to have found you 🙂

  7. purple says:

    everybody’s got something to say … and as long as people and poets are brave enough to say what they need to say, poetry will always be alive and thrive! COngrats on the followers — people know a good thing when they find you!

  8. Beautiful post, my dear.
    I’m with you in this; poetry is not dead yet.
    You are good with it!

  9. jmgoyder says:

    You and KB inspire me to try writing poetry again!

  10. Poetry will never die
    when there are those like you
    who give it life

    Congrats Sus x

  11. Alive, adapting, evolving and breathing with every passing second!

  12. I loved how you bring out the true meaning of poetry; not something to be dissected in class but something to be felt and read in the silence of one’s mind. Good job!

  13. Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

    I have thought a lot about what David Bauman (“The Dad Poet”) has said about poetry and elitism and how many people can’t relate to poetry because it appears to be held captive by the “experts.”

    I feel that this is true about so many things. Call me crazy, but aren’t knowledge and expression being commodified and sold off or hermetically sealed and kept behind police tape right now? I just heard this morning about how the Government of Canada is forbidding the librarians and archivists at Library and Archives Canada (this country’s National Archives) from giving public talks on their profession! They have been reminded in a new “code of conduct” that their loyalty is to the Government of Canada. So, how long will it take for people on “the outside” to feel that library science is inaccessible to them because it is guarded by the bureaucracy? Or how about the people on “the inside” who now are going to have more trouble sharing their passion for preserving the past with the very people they are saving that past for in the first place?

    I think that poetry, like so much else, is suffering from the commodification of knowledge. It has not yet been seen by the “powers that be” as being sufficiently dangerous as the gnostic knowledge about corporate, military and government budgets and conduct that must be kept in a vault behind the bayonets- but it certainly has been portrayed as unprofitable enough to be reserved for the professors and the elite journals. In other words, because there does not appear to be “a future” in becoming a poet, we had better leave poetry to the “in crowd” who are fortunate enough (read “privilege” here) to make their money teaching it or editing a few of the elite journals that can police what “quality” is.

    I don’t know, it seems to me that you are tapping into all of this here. Forgive my rant -I never realized just how anti-authority I am, especially when it comes to knowledge and expression.

    • Jeremy–never apologize for passion–this is so well said, and I am jumping up on my chair and shouting bravo! Authority should never be exerted over knowledge and expression–if it is, we are veering dangerously toward censorship–censorship of form, of voice, is something that should not be tolerated any more than a censorship of ideas (and I am not that sure we are far off from that either).

  14. nelle says:

    One more feather for your chapeau… I was never a fan of poetry, never bothered with it (and I would never be so presumptuous as to try and write it.) You, Jennifer, and Nanda drew me in and I love how each of you work your craft. So beyond followers, there’s opening windows and doors.

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