PoetryMattersNow.org presents poets Donald Hall and Alicia Ostriker addressing the question: what do people do when the stranger next to them says s/he's a p...

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Comment by Savannah Ollar Jordan on August 17, 2011 at 10:17am
What do people do when the strnge next to them says she's a poet:  They stare and then I tell them that I can't teach them anything about it...they are then intrigued...why not??? I then tell them that words come out of me in a jumble of thoughts and I could no more stop them than I could pull teeth.  The words swarm around my head at bedtime and first awakening in the morning and then they begin to understand...they have their own words, they have just never thought to write them down, to feel them, to choose and use a different word to describe, to color, to kill or make alive, and bring to life the thoughts, ideas, desires, and so on.....I ask them to tell me the next thought in their mind and then I tell them:  "See, you are a poet" - and I didn't teach you how..it was within you all the time. 

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