Sometimes The Voice Starts IT All

Sometimes the voice starts it all, like yesterday’s writing, “Who In Their Right Mind” is a phrase that popped into my voice when I got up to see the first snow flakes. Somehow, when I answer these calls of the voice box, something generates into a word vehicle to share the “Life Values” that are important to me — without prosy preaching.

Also, when I write in third person, about someone distant from myself, I can make the poem about a lot more than me — because I don’t really want to be the subject of the poem, I shy away from confessional poetry as much as possible — because the world is there, “shining like shook foil” as Hopkins said — and I want the poem to be that shining foil for the reader to engage in that new experience of the world.

When a true phrase rises up through my voice box, it feels like I could go on and on and on, like, “Who in their right mind would spend $100 to make a garden bed-box to plant garlic, when he could buy the same amount of garlic for $10?” Who in their right mind would nurture a stick of grapevine cane to start sprouting then grow it for five years until it could produce grapes to make wine?”

And you can do the same writing, by taking a phrase you commonly use, and see where your voice takes you. When I write like this it is best to mouth the words, and say the words, and have them come up through the veins and arteries in your voice box, (rather than abstractly through your thoughts.

Is there poetry here? I cannot answer that. I think whatever is here, riding above and below the lines of verses that come from, “Who in their right mind –” depends on the reader connecting with their own experiences as well, as Helen Hudson, songwriter, singer, and lovely poet, shared in her comment.


About Ciletti

Jim Ciletti, an award winning poet, filmmaker, and author, is the 2010-2012, Poet Laureate of the Pikes Peak region, and for 41 years, poet-in-residence for the Orme School Fine Arts Festival. Jim gives many workshops on the writing and performance of poetry, and makes poetry house calls to create personal poetry events. Ciletti loves everything Italian, including cooking for family and friends, and loves to plant garlic, make homemade wine, and eating peaches and plums. "Everyday is Christmas, but you don't always get everything you ask for. Sometimes more. Poetry celebrates life."
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