What I wanted to know

What I wanted to know

As I sat there, the esteemed poets
waxed poetic about poetry—how
it’s “an experience”
it’s subtle
it’s a kind of language in itself
that we must translate into our own
verbal languages.
And what I wanted to know was
What is a poem?
What is a poem?
What in the hell is a poem?
Yes, yes, I know it’s indefinable,
but what is it?
Tell me what words to write
what lines to break
and what rhymes to make
and I’ll do it
if it means my poetry will be good.

Viannah E. Duncan

Viannah E. Duncan is a writer and activist hailing originally from Los Angeles. She lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She has a cat, Cleo.

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