Wild Goose Poetry Review

Contemporary Poetry, Reviews, and Commentary

Helen Losse, Of course, the poet is parent to the verse

with 12 comments

Helen Losse
Of course, the poet is parent to the verse:

maker, creator. Poetic embryos grow
inside me, waiting to be born, waiting for

surgery while still inside the womb,
waiting while I go rail fanning or watch

NASCAR: anything to make a memory.
A poet needs to make memories, to make

live, raw material, assembled & growing
a zygote toward revision.

A poet can add detail like a bird or a tree
to any memory. Yet we call that poet

a fool. A fool’s what Kilmer called himself,
so why not me? Yet if you’re bold enough

to say it, you can call me co-creator,
detail adjuster, bird watcher, tree hugger,

physician: prenatal surgeon of memories.
Anything other than fool. You can call me

God’s beloved.

Author’s Comment: This poem describes the formula for writing itself. I liked the image of poet as co-creator (with God), so I started with single words: maker, creator. I expanded with “surgery inside the womb,” which is revision. Revision takes place over time (during which I did other things.) I “make[s] memories,” which I embellish by adding details. After some word-play, I turn to Kilmer’s poem, “Trees,” in which he calls himself “a fool” and points out that “only God can make a tree.” The latter is true, but is the former? Am I a “fool,” or am I much, much more?

Bio: A former English teacher, Helen Losse is a Winston-Salem poet, the author of two full length books, Seriously Dangerous (Main Street Rag, 2011) and Better With Friends (Rank Stranger Press, 2009) and three chapbooks, Gathering the Broken Pieces, Paper Snowflakes, and Mansion of Memory (Rank Stranger Press, 2012). Helen’s poems have been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and three times for a Best of the Net award, one of which was a finalist. Her book Seriously Dangerous was on the long list for a 2012 SIBA Book Award.

Written by wildgoosepoetryreview

August 14, 2012 at 11:04 am

Posted in Uncategorized

12 Responses

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  1. Brava, Helen.


    August 14, 2012 at 1:07 pm

  2. But sometimes the Devil makes me do it. Thanks for the good work, Helen.

    Robert S. King

    August 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm

  3. Was this one I read an earlier version of? I love that idea of the zygote🙂


    August 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm

  4. Good one, Helen!

    Pris Campbell

    August 14, 2012 at 11:57 pm

  5. I love the language and the progression of this, Helen!


    August 15, 2012 at 4:52 am

  6. I love this poem, Helen. I’d enjoy hearing you read it sometime.🙂

    Curtis Dunlap

    August 16, 2012 at 1:39 am

  7. I think I would know this is your poem, Helen, even without your name. I like it very much.


    November 1, 2012 at 5:13 am

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