January Poetry Blitz: Pauline Uchmanowicz

Elements of Style

What if poets had to pick? The ocean or the stars.
A reputation in truth telling or a prize in diplomacy?

Seabed or zodiac. Water or fire. Density or infinity.
There’s travel by Chinese junk with shipwreck

Or space capsule disaster. Commerce or exploration.
Marine biologist or aeronautic engineer.

Dictating rhyme, form and meter it’s either
Waves as repetition or constellations as pattern,

Tide and undertow or equinox and quasar.
Cardinal points and horizons stay in joint custody

And every bard gets clarinets, trees and the rigadoon.
Also Spanish butterflies, mountains and Dutch windmills.

By Pauline Uchmanowicz

(From Inchworm Season, Finishing Line Press. Pauline Uchmanowicz teaches at SUNY New Paltz and serves as editor for the Codhill Poetry Chapbook Award.)

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