It is dangerous to love a poet

It is dangerous to love a poet
who blows emotion into rainbow animals;
orange giraffes, pink dogs, purple monkeys–
her balloon bestiary handed off to anyone
who stops to admire her skill and their lightness.
That some are shaped to your likeness is completely accidental,
she says, bouncing your persona palm to palm until it pops.

It is troubling to love a poet
who paints seduction in shadows
on metaphorical flesh, concentric patterns
traced on paper when the lines you want her to read out loud
are written by vessels under your skin, shivered
and goosebumped for lips busy kissing or cursing a muse.
You will always be the interloper in that marriage.

It is lonely to love a poet
who stays up until dawn, choosing the right shade of red
to  spraypaint your name on the moon, her  graffiti
bold enough to read from any bedroom window–
no solace when her side of the bed echoes scent
and is empty of presence.  In her chase of the right word,
she will not hear you murmur her name as you sleep.

It is useless to confront a poet.
She will take the pain you bring,
clay thrown on the wheel of her vision
spun and shaped to perfection,
glazed with a sad you will never see,
fired to a form that sings unbreakable passion.

It is joy to love a poet.
Her words lift from beyond the depth of bone
to wing from lips, floating each shade
in the spectrum of feeling your name evokes,
and you are caught, dazzled
and doomed as any moth or firefly, chasing
and breathing the lit cloud only she owns.


**We are writing list poetry today at dVerse, and this is what I can come up with–an older poem incorporating lists in part.  Hope you like!

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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112 Responses to It is dangerous to love a poet

  1. randomandunheardof says:

    I really loved what you did there, the concept is quite original plus very entertaining. thank you kindly for sharing this.

  2. claudia says:

    smiles…it has two sides probably…ha…the suffering and the joy… hubs is not much into poetry and i try to be as normal as possible, you know… still.. it doesn’t really think i’m completely normal…smiles

  3. brian miller says:

    ha. it is surely not easy to love a poet…smiling at the balloon animals all bearing a resemblance…oh no my persona popped…ha. and anything you give us, we will use to write and create…ha…by my we do have passion…smiles.

  4. annotating60 says:

    Susan I loved it. Great piece of work.>KB

  5. Eric says:

    Whomever loves you, loves a poet. 🙂

  6. Trent Lewin says:

    Spraypainting names on moons… that is quite a thing. Do you love a poet? Or should we better love the poem, because that is less destructive? One wonders. Great poem though. I love it – ha!

  7. Yes, the poet is always cheating,
    running off into the woods
    to lie with the muse
    preferring the metaphorical
    too often to the real
    in strange attempts to
    reach the real, somehow….

    Lovely work Susan–

  8. Caught, dazzled and doomed ~ you trapped me with your poem Susan as surely as a moth drawn to the candle flamer ~ I had to check out dVerse for myself and then I was hooked. I should be ironing, pulling weeds, washing dishes but instead I am enjoying everyone’s List Poems on dVerse! And I loved this one x

  9. Oloriel says:

    Wonderfull, I have truly absorbed eery line, tho I must say I am enamoured with the first verse and the baloons.
    The like button is for some reason not loading for me, so forgive me for not clicking it, I will try to revisit later and give my admiration that way as well.

    • Oloniel–thank you–you certainly don’t need to click “like.” Your comment already turned me several shades of red. So very glad you liked this one.

  10. That was wonderful! I always thought loving a poet was like trying to love the air. Well done.

  11. Rowan Taw says:

    This is really wonderful, Susan.

  12. Mary says:

    Susan, I couldn’t agree with you more!! This is one of your best.

  13. Much better to be the poet and let the troubles of loving us up to others 🙂 ~peace, Jason

  14. Maggie Grace says:

    You wove such beautiful images and spun magical phrases into this. My husband listens to all I write for the prompts. The patience of a saint…and offers feedback. Lucky me. To read your writing is pure pleasure!

  15. Susan, this made me cry. You have really touched on what it means to be a poet and to live with one–which is likely to drive you a bit crazy. Hope you don’t mind, I’m going to print this for my hub, and for me!

    • Victoria–wow… Really appreciate you sharing that. Of course you can print it out–I am honored you want to share it. Go ahead–it is definitely written for him. It is for anyone who loves a poet.

  16. Grace says:

    I agree, one of your best work ~ So well done Susan ~

  17. This is wonderful Susan! Terrifically written.

  18. this is fabulous – stupendous – superb – and really really really good

  19. Reblogged this on Poesy plus Polemics and commented:
    Susan Daniels is a poetic treasure – her work tickle you, thrill you, awe you, and – oh – just read her blog and decide for yourself.

  20. seingraham says:

    Oh so true…reminded me of one of my own that I wrote long ago and will have to search for now…I remember one of the lines being something about “for no other reason than that they can hurtle seemingly innocent words that land amongst unsuspecting audiences and do the damage of grenades…”(or something along those lines…that was the gist anyhow) Yours touches on so many aspects of being a poet that encompass both the good and the bad, it’s excellent. Great idea for a list poem indeed…

  21. A lovely poem to get lost in… into all those little worlds of the poet. My husband tries to get into poetry, he likes to make up his poetic lines to speak to me…it’s funny and charming…and some are quite good but yeah it must be hard to live with a poet at times. 🙂

  22. Ray Sharp says:

    beautiful, fully realized, great form and language

  23. Truly enjoyed reading this, all the cautions and fair warnings about being with a poet. Especially liked S4:

    “It is useless to confront a poet.
    She will take the pain you bring,
    clay thrown on the wheel of her vision
    spun and shaped to perfection,
    glazed with a sad you will never see,
    fired to a form that sings unbreakable passion.’

    And that’s what we do best, take feelings and emotions and weave them into expression; drawing from our insides–just under the surface–those words, lines and phrases just clawing to get out. Well penned.

  24. oneofaclass says:

    Wow, Susan, you nailed this! Of course when I read this to my poet-wife, she didn’t think it was funny. Go figure…

  25. Susan says:

    I wish I had written this. It goes in my small folder of poems I cannot live without. Someday, around a glass of wine, we can parse it line by line–but verse 2 is where I fell in love, where you describe the lines that truly wanted reading. Gosh.

  26. pbjellie says:

    I love the “clay thrown on the wheel of her vision” bit. And I love all the synonyms in your comment prompt 🙂

  27. Alice Keys says:

    LOVED this, Susan. Thanks. It needed to be written. There are people in my life I shall be reading this to. ;-)) Alice

  28. Such a dynamic and spot on piece! Enjoyed this very much, it is splattered with so much truth. 🙂

  29. vbholmes says:

    A fun message crafted with wonderful words.

  30. various sides of the coin. Ha! There must be a middle ground in being with a poet. Beautiful and passionate, Susan

  31. ds says:

    I love this! Thank you.

  32. One of my favorites of all time from you Susan. So good it makes me question if I know how to write poetry any more. This rises to the best of poetry doing what only poetry can do– balanced on the pen tip of an artist!

  33. Akila says:

    Nice take on both the sides well so much for the lover and loved ones of a poet! 🙂

  34. Imelda says:

    Beautiful. 🙂

  35. othermary says:

    Oh — this is wonderful! Great metaphors! I particularly like the phrase, ” …bouncing your persona palm to palm until it pops.”

  36. I came to visit via’s Paul’s page…because anyone he so glowing recommends I need to check out.

    I’m so glad I did. Truly magnificent. Brought to mind a song from the Sound of Music…”Maria”

    Here is a little section of the lyrics in case you are unfamiliar.

    “How do you solve a problem like Maria?
    How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
    How do you find a word that means Maria?
    A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!

    Many a thing you know you’d like to tell her
    Many a thing she ought to understand
    But how do you make her stay
    And listen to all you say
    How do you keep a wave upon the sand

    Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria?
    How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?”

  37. Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

    It is dangerous to love a poet if you think love is about possession.

    I enjoyed this. 🙂

    • Thanks, J. Above in this bunch of comments is a beautiful statement about how loving a poet is like trying to love the air, which reflects your comment perfectly. There’s a poem in them thar words, I think.

      • Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

        Well, I think you should try to go out and collect them thar words . . . for the brief moment you can breathe that air! 🙂

      • Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

        I liked your facebook share about men becoming better toward women, by the way. I try my best to be as conscious as I can be and to learn when I do wrong. It helps having strong women in my life to help me learn. I also think about my wife, my mother, my sister and the fact that I hope to have a daughter someday. This keeps my eyes open wide.

        I will admit that it helps that I do enjoy feminist literature, I must admit. Especially eco-feminism, as you know. 😉

  38. Lovely, Susan. Another winner.Another masterpiece from that welling well that gushes poetry

    A joy to love a poet
    a thrill to feel her fingers spin
    strum and featherstroke
    patterns of singing rainbow
    to fill the spaces in your heart
    words become vanillaed dew drops
    dripping from lips onto willing
    waiting and wanting ears

  39. potterfan97 says:

    “It is lonely to love a poet
    who stays up until dawn, choosing the right shade of red
    to spraypaint your name on the moon”

    Wow 🙂

  40. dramonovich says:

    Refreshing like the smell of earth and plants after a downpour. Thank you kindly.

  41. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) says:

    I hope my partners have found the last verse as true as the others!

  42. doncarroll says:

    nicely done. great title. you present a lot of spectrum as to the poet. you could say a complicated being no less. imagine if bipolar were in the title. it would really have some spectrums involved.

  43. cidalzz says:

    I love this piece so much and would like to read it at an upcoming poetry recital on the 7th of September, 2013 in Ghana. I would be glad if you gave me your permission to share your poem.

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