- Title Pages
- 1 Kindred Spirits
- 2 Intimacy in Language
- 3 Laughter for Dessert
- 4 The Poetry of Ping-Pong
- 5 Days of Chess and Backgammon
- 6 Inventing a Language for Love
- 7 Poetry on the Porch
- 8 All My Trials
- 9 The AIDS Poets
- 10 Oh Did You See the Ashes Come Thickly Falling Down?
- 11 The POEMobile Dreams of Peace
- 12 Free Market Flavor
- 13 The Poetry in Science
- 14 Navigating Transitions
- 15 The Human Unit of Time
- 16 Your Body as Symbol
- 17 Intimations of Immortality
- 18 God Is in the Details
- 19 Breath on the Mirror
- 20 The Best Stories versus My Story
- 21 The Grease Lamp’s Flicker and Flare
- 22 Lion’s Gate
- 23 Rock and Word
- For Further Reading
Rock and Word
Rock and Word
Building a Stone Wall as a Lesson in Poetry
- (p.244) 23 Rock and Word
- The Poetry of Everyday Life
- Cornell University Press
This chapter suggests that building a stone wall offers a lesson in poetry. The experience of writing a poem embodies a joyful feeling: the words take your shape as you wander through creek beds of syllables, with your own life rolling over them. Stones, like words, are everywhere; the trick to building a dry stone wall is to find stones that fit perfectly into one another and form a structure that will not collapse under its own weight. Stone walls, despite being made of one of the heaviest objects on the planet, all have a lightness and delicacy in the way the stones touch and balance. The best poems—made of the lightest things on the planet (words)—demonstrate a sturdiness, with the words coupled so perfectly that one cannot be removed without the whole structure crumbling. Writing a poem requires balancing sound, humor, feeling, and thought to support one another.
Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.