Then that weird little lady threw me this:
“You’re a poet, ain’t you?”
I felt an obnoxious feeling with this punch.
So, I took a long breath and said:
“Well, I’m supposed to.”
And after a quantum of silence, I caused to answer:
“I like to play with words and their meanings,
And I play with the nature of the human soul,
And pretend that I’m able to control the truth…
I often have visions,
And I have experiences!
(Experiences that don’t have language)
And I try to transform all these ideas into words.
So, I think this process makes me a poet.
But, when I am writing down a line
It always comes to my mind, this very question
You just asked me — differently, though:
What makes a poem a poem?
Then I take this piece of advice:
Gently make haste, of labor not afraid;
A hundred times consider what you’ve said;
Polish, repolish, every color lay,
And sometimes add, but oftener take away.
So, little lady, the answer’s yes!
Either I concede, or I resist.”
She turned me a blind eye,
And with her head down, whispered:
“A poet is born, not made.
Now, could you make me a poem about fire?”
“Who are you?”
I dared to ask.
She smiled and nodded while said:
“Maybe I’m your Muse!”
Then I hit her back:
“Only heat and light
I’ll take from this fire:
One to keep you in my sight
The other to feed my desire.”
She stared at me, that weird little lady,
And before she disappeared, she said:
“It’s not even your style.”