Instruction to poets

When you write a poem, it never returns void. It will go out and be heard in the wilderness somewhere. It will be heard by the person you love and have not yet met. It will never return to you void. When ideas are burnished, they shine in the sun. If they are inspired, they will save someone from death. Like a tiny pocket mirror found by a man who is lost deep in the waste howling wilderness. Holding the glass high above him, turning, turning it, it catches the sun and flashes a signal so strong, the rescuers suddenly see him. A poem should work that way. The poem you write, if it is burnished sufficiently with love and trust and tears, Could save my life. If I do not find your poem today on a page in the bright sun, I may eventually discover it in some dark, seemingly pathless place where I am crying in the wilderness during my moment of greatest need. How much time has passed since it was left there makes no difference. Be not deceived nor discouraged, my beloved friend whom I have yet to meet: when you write a true poem, it never returns to you void. It accomplishes the purpose for which it was sent.

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