The Next Poem

When I read Dana Gioio’s poems I appreciate poetry more and more. Only one more day left, but I thank you for sticking around and showing your love for poetry.
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The Next Poem

by Dana Gioia

How much better it seems now
than when it is finally done––
the forgettable first line,
the cunning way the stanzas run.

The rhymes soft-spoken and suggestive
are barely audible at first,
an appetite not yet acknowledged
like the inkling of a thirst.

When gradually the form appears
as each line is coaxed aloud––
the architecture of a room
seen from the middle of a crowd.

The music that of common speech
but slanted so that each detail
sounds unexpected as a sharp
inserted in a simple scale.

No jumble box of imagery
dumped glumly in the reader’s lap
or elegantly packaged junk
the unsuspecting must unwrap.

But words that could direct a friend
precisely to an unknown place,
those few unshakeable details
that no confusion can erase.

And the real subject left unspoken
but unmistakable to those
who don’t expect a jungle parrot
in the black and white prose.

How much better it seems now
than when it is finally written.
How hungrily one waits to feel
the bright lure seized, the old hook bitten.

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