“If you cannot be the poet, be the poem.” ~ David Carradine
Poetry is the result of painting a picture with words. The result is not a story, but a vision shown. To live one’s life as a poem is to use our actions to show ourselves to the world. As my poetry instructor intoned, “show – don’t tell”. How do we show ourselves to the outer world? Are we painting our lives with broad strokes of color, are we crafting tightly constructed lines of rhyme? Who are we in there?
It is not the message but the means. A poem can be soothing, a poem can also be jarring, it can be tight metered stanzas or it can be flowing unstructured free verse. To “be the poem” does not mean that your life must have a certain order or that you are charming or witty or thoughtful (although you may be all of those things), it simply means to paint with your actions, put yourself out there, live your vision in a full and vibrant manner.
And on a particularly joyous day perhaps you can be the song.