So, what about poetry that includes casual but expressive writing while leaving room for other kinds of expressions? And tugs on emotions in ways that prose cannot?

Is there no room in your pantheon of valuable writing for something like this?

Poetry intensifies emotion, beauty, the resonance of language. It plays with imagery in ways that prose cannot. It resonates in ways that prose cannot. Especially not long prose.

Moreover, very little of modern experience can be written in rhyming iambic pentamiter (or any other traditional poetry form).

Sample:

Terra Nova

The sun shone on our January

wedding day

a bright blue afternoon,

me in my long burgandy red

organza dress, its pleats

brushing the grass, green

as usual

an ordinary California

winter day

with just a slight

chill.

My friend Ellie, startled by

the color, said it reminded

her of her red roses she

had just pruned for

the winter.

She said we had been

pruned and she wondered what

would be our compost, which

has to be of many things --

leaves, twigs, dead flowers,

garbage. She said

she thought our special

combination was my love

of words and his artist's

vision.

We were not new

to our shared bed; it

was more a ceremony to affirm

than to change and

we had no money

nor time for a honeymoon

so we drove into

L.A. for the theater to

celebrate, saw

Terra Nova at

the Mark Taper Forum.

Terra Nova: New Land, about

a failed expedition

to Antarctica.

Our return home was

graced by stars and

a few lacy clouds,

but early the next

morning it rained, the

clouds over the mountains

so black you could see

nothing else.

About three in the afternoon I

was putting our gifts away in

the kitchen when he called

from the living room and said, "Look!

Its hailing!" I looked out

our big picture window facing

the mountains, but the white fall

was too soft for hail and

I shouted, "No! It's snowing!"

We ran outside, laughing.

The ground was too warm to hold

the snow in our yard

but we drove a little ways north and at

500 feet elevation higher the snow

stayed, covering palm trees on

16th street in Upland.

We got out and threw

snowballs at each other, and

I thought of Terra Nova and

believed we would grow

old together, our hair

whitening

together,

hands red-knuckled

together, wrapped

around the memory of

the three red roses I carried

that bright

blue

January

afternoon.

Copyright Georgia NeSmith 1995

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.