Terence George Craddock (Spectral Images and Images Of Light)


True Poet - Poem by Terence George Craddock (Spectral Images and Images Of Light)

She asked me if I was a poet?
I said ‘I Am.’
She asked me if I was a true poet?
I said that I was.
She asked me ‘What is a true poet?
I said ‘Someone who lives for poetry.’

Someone who has no choice
but to write evermore eternal poetry.
Someone who turns happiness
into moments of exquisite poetic joy.
Someone who turns tragedy
into intensified heightened transcendent expression.
Someone who watches a leaf fall
from rustic red golden autumn tree;
and has no choice but to fall
gliding, into rhythm of perpetual cyclic life.’

She asked me if you could be a poet
and not write a single poem.
I paused for a moment of contemplation
then Poetry said,
‘Your whole life could be but
a single poem;
the entire course of a whole life lived,
could be but a single impassioned poem.’

She paused overwhelmed then said,
‘You are a true poet.’
I paused to consider throughout
depths of a moment of eternal silence;
then said, ‘It is hard to live suffering,
the consequences, the isolation, of being a poet.’

She said ‘Can you live alone? ’
I said ‘I have lived alone,
sometimes I enjoyed living alone;
but that I enjoyed the companionship of friends.’
She said ‘Only honest people
can live alone.

She said ‘You remind me of Voltaire.’
‘Have you ever read Voltaire? ’
I said ‘No’
She said that I should.

I never did for I was too busy
living a precarious life;
and resolving the tensions, jarring elements,
of the late twentieth century;
with tolerance, amusement, insight,
or subtle or elaborate facets of truth.

Yet the last decade of the twentieth century
turned into frustrated anguish;
as I felt evermore with mounting certainty
the shape of events to come.


Copyright © Terence George Craddock
‘Voltaire is the pen name of Francois Marie Arouet (1694-1778) , the greatest of the writers and thinkers (philosophers) who lived in France in the 18th century, during the years leading up to the French evolution (1789-99) . He lived a long life and never stopped writing about the right of a person to be free and to think forhimself. He attacked the government for oppressing people’s lives. He also attacked the (French) Church which, he felt, did not allow freedom of faith. (Voltaire studied England's Constitutional Monarchy and its religious tolerance while in exile in England from 1726 to 1729.) He pointed out the weaknesses of the society in which he lived and helped to prepare the way for the upheaval of the French Revolution.’ Children’s Britannica P.224.


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Poem Submitted: Sunday, April 25, 2010

Poem Edited: Monday, April 18, 2011


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