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To Dennis Kim (Victim Of Poetry)

I read the headline slowly, a second time,
Just to be sure:
“Aspiring Poet Drowns in Hudson Trying to Save Poems”
It seems a young body threw itself into the river
Chasing its paper heart and soul
As they sank to the black bottom below
Held hostage in a backpack.
Seems even the lightweight models
Aren’t quite light
Enough.

Someone should have told him,
Warned him of the truth:
Poetry is in the writing, not on the paper.
Paper words merely mimic the mind,
Cheaper by the dozen
One thousandth of a picture.
Sometimes you get a “hmmm” and a wink
From a reader in Des Moines,
And frankly, that should suffice.

By all means, share your thoughts.
Mind and body are for the taking
And the giving.
But for God’s sake guard your heart and soul,
Back them up from time to time,
For when these are left lying around carelessly,
It’s bound to end badly
Sooner or later.

User Rating: 4,8 / 5 ( 2 votes ) 6

Comments (6)

Well-written piece with interesting ideas, Lori (But for God’s sake guard your heart and soul/Back them up from time to time) ... A poem for every poet, especially for the new and the young.
I liked the way you used the true story to bring out the message that since poetry comes from the heart then the original source should be saved instead of the copy! Great poem! HBH
Believe it or not, this is a true story featured on our own beloved Poemhunter site on 10/8/05. Truly sad story, but quite possibly the best poetic ending one could ever write. Thanks to all for your comments!
You have a good mind an imagination, Lori. One never knows what you'll come up with. You use the dramatic situation in this poem effectively, to connect with your more emotional/philosophical comments. I'm musing whether you really saw such a newspaper headline. I'd guess no. You'd certainly be capable of imagining it. But the call could go either way.
Very touching poem, Lori. Indeed it is sad in many ways.
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