The Spirit of Poetry

Ever since the invention of languages and the realization of a deeper meaning to our existence, human beings have felt the need to express what they find within. Our inner worlds, far richer and profoundly more expansive than the world without, permit the creative expression of that world, but in terms that must attempt to communicate its ineffable nature. We can compose clever rhymes, and speak of frivolous things, or we can reach into the depths of our emotions and our inner worlds to reveal an idea, a feeling, an image, or a thought that resonates for us, bursting forth through metaphor, which releases the sheer power of the idea or emotion.

A well executed and pleasing piece of poetry invites us to appreciate the many assets we all might find within ourselves if we would only look. I find much encouragement in gentle words and heart-felt lines, rich in the poetic. For me, poetry has always been a release or a letting go or a spilling out. Many times, I am surprised by what arrives on the page when I set the poetry wheels in motion.

When poetry erupts and breaks the smooth surface of conscious awareness, it can feel like an intrusion, even though it is a welcomed one. The ripples are often felt long after the words arrive, and I feel compelled to return to the poem for another look.

I have had the urge to write down my thoughts as poems ever since being introduced to poetry as a schoolboy. I recall vividly the experience of my mother reading poetry to us from a volume of children’s rhymes, and the first time that poetry was introduced in the classroom. We began with a small anthology of classic works, with each poem accompanied by a famous painting to illustrate the theme.

Over the years, I have accumulated many thoughts, memories, and reflections which inspired a poetic response, and during poetry month, I hope to post a few that evoked a particularly vivid aspect of my inner world. To begin, I offer the following poem entitled, “My Waking Dream.”

My Waking Dream
By John J. Hyland, III

In the silences of
My waking dream,
I fly to the sunlit meadow
Of contemplation,
Deep within the solitude of
My inner realm.

Through the tall grass of memory,
I trod the path to home,
Near the summer sun of joy.
You are always there waiting,
Lingering like the dew that
Clings to every morning thing.

Smiling as I arrive,
Arrayed only in the glow of affection,
I greet you with unencumbered joy,
Casting myself freely
Into the deepest sweetness
I have ever known.

We stroll amongst the rising tides
Of deeply heartfelt glances,
And the ebbing of desire.
Swiftly fading light signals
The return of the temporal world as
I reluctantly release your hand from mine.

© August 2003 by JJHIII

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