The Poet's Pain
By Don Iannone
I wonder seriously
if I'd have my poetry
if I didn't have my pain.
You may smile smugly, thinking perhaps
you know my pain.
Rest assured, you don't, and
frankly, there's no need for you
to know my pain.
After all, it's mine, and
you have your own pain--
giving rise to your poetry, maddening dreams,
insufferable prognostications, fits of sexual hallucination,
or even drunken spells leaving you numb.
Yes, poets suffer...
not first with their poetry, but with life.
And those reading poetry suffer too...
not with the poetry they read, but also with life.
I think of Oscar Wilde, who once said:
We are all in the gutter,
but some of us are looking at the stars.
Wilde's point isn't that misery loves company, rather
some of us are more able to use our misery
to see life awhole, including its pain.
For some of us, poetry is our weapon of choice
in seeing the reality of pain,
without the rose-colored glasses.