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TO WRITE A POEM by Alice Maldonado Gallardo

Someone asked me about how to write poetry...

I decided to try to explain it by writing this poem.

To Write a Poem
by Alice Maldonado

Familiarize with Death.
Retrace its path,
smell its roses
full of thorns.
Keep it close
to your heart.
It makes you
feel alive.

Familiarize with intense,
agonizing Love,
the kind your Mother
warned you about.

Write all night
with the dim light 
of an old lamp.
Next to a window,
so you can
look up
at the lonely stars,
then look down
at the humid busy ground.

Write alone.
Or surrounded
by people.
It will not matter
because when the muse
captures you,
you are the fly
trapped
in the eternal,
glittering spiderweb.

You need to be willing
to drown
in your own sorrows.
Then come up for air
if only for a minute
to write another verse.

You need to learn
how to breathe Beauty.
Inhale and exhale.
Feel the soft air
caress your skin,
the rain purify you,
and the storms
violently free
your hair wild.

Learn how to knit
the clouds in a blanket
and find
the center of the universe
in the flame
of a candle.

Medicate with words.
Close your eyes
and read your soul.
Then let it
reach out.
Let it burn
with the Sun.
Photography by Elizabeth Gibb

Alice Maldonado Gallardo: I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1966, but at the age of 14 moved with my family to Massachusetts. I studied Latin American Studies at Mount Holyoke College where I was a Frances Perkins Scholar. After graduation I attended Loyola Law School but withdrew to pursue other interests. I worked as Assistant Editor and later as Web and Promotion Manager at the University of Massachusetts Press. I have also worked as a real estate appraiser, translator, secretary, substitute teacher, small business owner and web developer. I live with my teenage son in Amherst, Massachusetts. Three of my poems have been published in an online journal: The Elephant Journal. You can connect with me on Facebook here. 


~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~ 

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