A Piece of Advice

In a quest to find poems for an English project, I came across a particular poem that I absolutely fell in love with.

“Do You Have Any Advice For Those of Us Just Starting Out?”

Ron Koertge

Give up sitting dutifully at your desk. Leave
your house or apartment. Go out into the world.

It’s all right to carry a notebook but a cheap
one is best, with pages the color of weak tea
and on the front a kitten or a space ship.

Avoid any enclosed space where more than
three people are wearing turtlenecks. Beware
any snow-covered chalet with deer tracks
across the muffled tennis courts.

Not surprisingly, libraries are a good place to write.
And the perfect place in a library is near an aisle
where a child a year or two old is playing as his
mother browses the ranks of the dead.

Often he will pull books from the bottom shelf.
The title, the author’s name, the brooding photo
on the flap mean nothing. Red book on black, gray
book on brown, he builds a tower. And the higher
it gets, the wider he grins.

You who asked for advice, listen: When the tower
falls, be like that child. Laugh so loud everybody
in the world frowns and says, “Shhhh.”

Then start again.

from Fever, 2006
Red Hen Press

(Thanks to Poetry 180)

This poem has probably given me more advice when it comes to being a writer than anything else ever has. I won’t tell you what, mainly because you should be able to figure it out yourselves.

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~ by Rckrgrl on January 29, 2010.

2 Responses to “A Piece of Advice”

  1. great advice and a great poem.

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