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  • Writer's pictureAudrey Chin

Poetry is the unexpected stranger …

Updated: Jun 10, 2022

I’m drunk with words.

My nephew, the artist and poet, is visiting with his family.

We’ve been indulging in artsy-fartsy conversation, talk that makes me feel drunk with stars.

Poetry is

A word picture, my nephew said.

Or a frame of words with room for interpretation, I replied.

We tossed the definitions back and forth:

– an echo of the world

– words that call to each reader’s memory

– spaces between that resonate with the holes in each reader’s own story …

In the end we agreed on what Vietnam’s eminent pre-war poet Hàn Mạc Tữ said:

“Thơ là người khách lạ, đi giữa nguồn tơ tưỡng trong trẽo”

“Poetry is the unexpected guest who accompanies the birth of our purest longings”

Such beautiful words! No wonder he continues to be read for nearly a century. No wonder I still turn to the Vietnamese poets for inspiration;)

Who is the unexpected guest when you begin to write?

What welcome are you giving your guest?


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