Friday, October 13, 2006


An exert from the sting of long experience by the poet Blaga Dimitrova,

Ars Poetica

Write each of your poems
as if it were your last.
Send each of your words
like a last letter before execution,
a call carved on a prison wall.
You have no right to lie,
no right to play pretty little games.
You simply won't have time
to correct your mistakes.
Write each of your poems,
tersely, mercilessly,
with blood-as if it were your last.

~ If I wrote each poem like it was last
I would be delving very deeply into past.
There would be anger, some hate and heavy strife
because each trial has stripped me of my life.
And then what about the many years of pain
with no one here that I can really blame.
Now I stand alone with my regrets,
what sorrow comes from all of my upsets. ~

I love the idea of clothing yourself with a "last words" attitude every time you sit down to write. Doesn't that sound like a romantically intense writers state of mind? Unfortunately, my brain doesn't work that way. I get inspirations at the darndest times. I have to grab envelopes at bank stops, old receipts sitting at the bottom of my purse, and I've even been known to jot things down on Kleenex, which is really messy and hard to read later on. I've written while driving, (sorry daddy) standing in a grocery line, bathroom stalls (sorry reading friends) and while I'm in the middle of just about every kind of housework. I have these precious pieces of paper everywhere and my family knows they are not to throw away ANYthing.
"Where's that napkin that was sitting on the counter!"
"What napkin?"
"The brown one, the one that had writing on it!"
"I don't know what your talking about."
"You threw it away...I can't believe you threw it away, it was the best poem ever and you threw it away!"
"Well, used napkins usually do end up in the garbage're not actually going to look for it, are you?"
"It was the BEST poem EVER! Don't you understand?"

No, they don't understand, after all they're just random words scribbled on a variety of paper goods, right? Hmmmmm...I wonder how many garbage trucks are insensitively mixing and discarding our hard earned works of art, right into the dump.


Blogger Bohemian Girl said...

this reminded me of a time when i lived in Dallas and i went to a bar after work for the first time by myself. it was a tough i wanted a martini.

i sat up at the bar and wrote a poem on the napkin that was under my Cosmo. i went to the bathroom and when i returned, the napkin was missing. i was crushed but the bar was too busy for me to point the finger at any one person.

later, when i went to pay, the bartender pulled the napkin out of his pocket and asked if he could keep it. he was an artist and wanted to collage it to a piece of his art. i was touched.

so perhaps there is an artist out there that finds your poems written on napkins, receipts, what have you and uses them for inspiration.

who knows where your lovely words are now...xo

11:01 PM  
Blogger Yolanda said...

I love this poem and the thoughts that go with it. I couldn't agree more. I have those pieces of paper everywhere too . I use my hand a lot for notes too. Thanks for including me in your sidebar.I am sorry that the quote a couple of months back upset you. I am sorry. I was going to email you but didn't have your email address. Thanks so much you continue to inspire me.

11:30 PM  
Blogger Turquoise CRO said...

LOL My house is full of tiny papers,poems written on envelopes, inside magazines! ripped pieces of paper and I have a tablet right by my computer but alas! I've lost many a thought because I thought to myself, "well, I can remember that for sure later!" Yeah RIGHT! Poems , invisable poems floating in the air! Can you see them! Grab one! Happy Week-end Darlene! xooox

11:57 PM  
Blogger bb said...

Wow! I love this poem and have never heard of this poet before. I just had a skim through Amazon and she is barely available, other than at an excruciating price. Is she one of your rare book finds, or is she more popular over your side of the water?

I always write every poem as if it's my last (it is at least the last one I have written until the next one comes along). This doesn't mean that I don't scribble notes in between ironing school trousers, on bus journeys, standing in shop queues or while cooking a casserole - although I always try to scribble in my notebook because I love holding onto the process between the covers as much as the finished poem.

(yes I destroy journals, but I keep poetry notebooks - a different discipline!)

lots of love x x x x x

3:18 AM  
Blogger Deb R said...

That's the first time I'd seen that poem and I like it.

As much as I hate it when someone else throws away something I thought was important, the last lines of your post fired up my imagination. I'm picturing this secret world in the depths of junkyards and dumps where lost bits of poetry and prose, canvas and paper magically come together and live on, just out of sight of human eyes.

5:55 AM  
Blogger b/sistersshoes said...

Yolanda ~ I back tracked and found nothing?

Could there possibly be another b/sistersshoes out there? :D

You're welcome for the side bar thing...I find you delightful and I'm no comp. whiz, so it's a big deal...I actually sweat right before I push the republish button :D xxx

6:50 AM  
Blogger Alexandra G said...

What a fantastic poem- wow! I had to read it through three times. Do you know if that poet is Bulgarian? I had a student with that name when I was a teacher in Bulgaria.

7:07 AM  
Blogger gerry rosser said...

Thanks for sharing the poem.

Thanks for your nice comment on my blog.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can say that I like the poem, because it is filled with the importance the author puts on his/her (is Blaga feminine or masculine?) work. But for me it just wouldn't do at all. I have just recently made great strides in not being so perfectionistic and am glad that I don't feel such weight placed on my expression in poetry; it would render me unable to pen a single word.

Like you, I write on whatever is handy (but I don't think I've ever attempted Kleenex) but then usually transfer at my earliest opportunity to something more concrete "just in case." And like TC I can't remember anything until later, so immediately putting down a few words to remind me is essential.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

9:23 AM  
Anonymous ceanandjen said...

Oh my gosh! And the thing is, you come up with some fabulous prose, and once you've written it down, some how you can not longer remember how it all went. You can not recreate it again. I think that we should treat these incidences as setting beauty free into the world. A little gift from you to the universe.

9:24 AM  
Blogger twitches said...

I'm weird - I generally only get inspired when sitting at my computer, reading poetry. I have to be reading poetry to get any poetic language going in my head. So unless someone throws my computer away, I'm safe!

9:58 AM  
Blogger ruby said...

i love the idea of you scrambling around for a bit of paper and a pen at the most random times! i hadn't read this poem before, and i really liked it...sets a little fire underneath me.

10:39 AM  
Blogger la vie en rose said...

i never seem to have paper when i need it...i tell myself i'm going to write it on my brain and remember it...i never do...

12:06 PM  
Blogger Bohemian Girl said...

why did i go and eat a bunch of green grapes after i read this?

were there some subliminal messages here? ; )

juicy photo, dar.

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've never read this poem either...and i loved it. i love the idea too of art floating away, and becoming inspiration for someone else.

because there are dump pickers, too... :)

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Teresa said...

First off, I love the grape photo, I am a sucker for grapes! Can you tell I want to start a vineyard? Second, I really loved that poem, it was very poignant for me anyway. And lastly, I hope you lost words written on paper you loose are found by someone that needs to hear the words you right down. You are so inspiring to me, I am certain that when your writtings are found (even by a garbage man) he/she will be uplifted and inspired also.

Have a wonderful weekend my friend!!

xxxooo Teresa

4:24 PM  

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