Richard W. Reith


Poetry is much like pottery. You have an idea, an emotion, a point you want to make, and you pour it into words. That first outpouring is the clay… It sits on the wheel, molded into a rough shape, ready to be turned and made into something of beauty.

But this is where so many with “poetry” on the web just leave it. Just a venting of emotions, good, sad, happy, angry, throw it out there and hope people will read it.

A poet takes that clay and lovingly starts to work it, turn it, shape it. Does it really express the emotion he/she intended? Are the words right? Looking at each word like you might look at individual trees in a forest. Changing words, finding better ones. The poem starts to gain real shape.”

The final turning of the poet’s creation is the little changes to make it flow, to make it roll off the tongue, run easily through the mind, smoothly, effortlessly.”

Throwing out words is easy. And there is value to writing words just to vent emotions. Almost anybody can rhyme, but real poetry is work, lovingly performed, and in the few times where the “pottery” the poet creates is the best he or she can do, it is wonderful. The feeling is like that of the dancer finishing the dance of his/her life, the musician playing in the perfect symphony.”

Maybe one in a hundred poems reaches that special place, but everything good requires effort, and everything good is worth the effort.