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When I come across something purely wonderful, I find I must share it with you. This is from Seth Abramson’s “100 Ways Poetry is in Your Life” (edited by yours truly for your maximum inspiration)

When you share a poem, whether privately with a friend or at a public reading. When you attend a reading given by others. When you meet new people who are poets or spend time with old friends who are poets, even if you don’t discuss poetry but merely allow their novel way of seeing to conjoin with your own. When you contact a poet, whether you knew them previously or otherwise, through any form of print or online media, in the hope of seeing things through their eyes, however briefly. When you let a poet know you appreciate what they’ve done or what they’re doing. When you sign a copy of a book you’ve written to let a reader know how much you appreciate their time and thoughtfulness.

When there’s a single word no daily tribulation permits you to forget for hours on end. When you invent a new word by accident or design. When you mishear a word or phrase in a conversation or a lyric and prefer the mishearing. When you silently quibble with a word you’ve read in any medium. When you save, in any fashion or for any purpose, a piece of language you’ve encountered in any context. When you gently and tactfully and without condescension correct the grammar of another, not because grammar is a skill-set but because grammar is ever and always inextricably tied to content. When you exhibit, in any fora or through any media, a passion for honest communication. When, in any context, you say a thing well, or see a thing well, or hear a thing well, or smell a thing well, and you know it. When you permit yourself to be mindful that life is context every bit as much as all language is context. When that realization drives you to the sort of empathy that lasts.

When you wish. When you pray. When you sing. When you cry at beauty. When you imagine yourself in a storybook. When you read a storybook whose prose is shot through with poetry. When you take a mental picture. When you meditate. When you keep secrets none will ever know. When you handwrite someone a letter. When you surprise someone with the vehemence of your love. When you surprise yourself with the vehemence of your love. When you love without hope of happiness, when you love secretly, when you love and that love is not requited or love and lose that love forever. When you dare to be spectacular, and when you dare admit the spectacular to the workaday. When you dare fight for the welfare of another, and when you fight for your own honor in the face of others’ silence. When you break a silence. When you maintain your integrity under harsh conditions, and when you fight to regain your integrity after having lost it too easily or tarnished it too lightly. When you weather the threat of death, when you weather your waking fears. When you save someone from any ill, and when you save yourself from any new foolishness or self-sabotage. When you face your death with bravery. When you die and discover what’s next.

Now, take one or more of these lines as a way to enter your own poem. Then rejoice in the power of poetry.

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