(ISSN: 1527-5467)
the magazine of Literature & Literature-in-translation.


JUL 2002













                          SONG HO

              Thoughts about Poetry


                               (translated by the author)




Poetry could possibly be one line having

                                                Only One Word

If that is true, it requires another imaginary line

            above or another word to follow that word.

In such a case, Poetry itself only expresses one word,

                          one thing, one thought for itself.

It yet needs a space to be understood....





Poetry could possibly be one line having

                                                   Only Two Words.

If that is true, they have more expression, more


Two words form one line of Poetry, don't they?

Two words show a space between them.

This space helps realize what poetry expresses.

This space bears the meaning of understanding.

Hence, two words seem to bring a little more

                                                           of Poetry.





Poetry really comes from Three Words

(I love you – Je t'aime – Anh yêu Em).

Three words are necessary to become Poetry.

People can extend verses longer, to Ten, to Hundreds,

to Thousands of words or to a countless amount

                                              of words etc...

This countlessness is an immense space in which

                                              poetry expands.




Poetry can be created by everyone, so it is easy

                                                         to write Poetry.

An innocent girl, a boy falling in love, a forsaken

person, a student, a quite angry man, a medical

doctor, a patient, a King, a Queen, a Princess, a

General, a soldier, an inmate in death row, a widow,

a butcher, a worker, a monk, a priest, a beggar,

a prostitute, a dummy,  a deaf man, a madman...

                               all of them can make verses.

Poetry appears in life and these people become Poets,     

their original professions are no longer of importance.





Poems are not usually good, so it is not easy to

                                                         make Poetry.

People who would like to make verses must have Ability.

However, Ability is not enough, Passion is also required.

Again, Passion is not enough, Courage is also necessary.




Poetry is Courage. Standing in Front of Death.

Courage is standing on the edge of Life and Death.

To bid farewell to Reality, to welcome Reverie.

To forsake Wealth, to side with Poverty.

To take Sorrow in place of Joy.

To accept Pain in lieu of Happiness.

To leave Togetherness and enter Separation.

To renounce the TO BE for the NOT TO BE.

To resist Temporary and accept Eternity.

Sometimes it is the other way around.

The Courage of Poetry is its love for another person

without being loved back and its love for Life

                                    with Life betraying it.

And the Poet is a man who lives in an

                                          Upside-down World.





Poetry is boundless. It steps out of Space and Time,

                              over Obstacles and Separations.

It is an Equal Union of People regardless of Classes

                              and Countries.

Poetry is to Give, not to Take;

a Devotion without Conditions and Obligations.

Poetry is also Sacrifice, Forgetfulness and Remembrance.

Poetry is Wonderfulness and The Absolute Most.





Poetry is also Hated by a few people because it is beloved

                                                         by many others

Those who dislike Poetry are uncultured Kings,

untalented Generals, powerful men who oppress others,

rich but illiterate people and ignorants.

They hate Poetry because it exposes bad characters.

They are afraid of Poetry because Poetry has no






Poetry is Faithfulness. It is the Beginning and also

                                                                      the End.

It is the Start and also the Finish.

Some begin to make verses but later stop after

                                                            their failures.

Others start to write a novel, a play or draw a painting

and then when old, they want to write Poetry. Others

            make poetry from childhood until old age.

They only stop when they leave this world.





Poetry is Selection in a Long Race.

Out of one hundred people who step into Literature

World about 50 people select to make Poetry, 30 to

write Novel, 15 like to be Artists and Musicians and

the rest Critics.

But after two decades, these number decrease


A few are still making verses.

Several stay writers.

But the number of critics increases

And the rest give up.





Poetry is Absolute. A poet who fails becomes Writers.

A writer who fails can hardly become a Poet.

A Writer who succeeds also tries to make verses,

but a Poet succeeds whenever wanting to write novels.

Poetry contains painting and music, and also architecture.

Hence the Poet doesn't like to be Painter or Musician,

or Architect.

In the real world, one witness that some Kings want to

become Poets but no Poet likes to be King.

It could be that the path the Poet chooses for himself is

the most ungrateful one but it is bordered with flowers

and is the Most Wonderful One.





Poetry is Grandeur. A Poet is a man who has friends,

and lives everywhere on the Earth, even in the Outer

Space planets, such as: Star, Sun, Moon...

He is also a man dealing with everything that happens in

every moment and all circumstances on the Earth

                                      and in the Solar System

Poetry is "Dream Comes True".

Poetry is Reality and speaks for the Truth.

Poetry does not Lie but exposes Lies.





Poetry is Quietness in Activity. Writer, Painter, Musician,

Architect... can seat still to create their works but the Poet

has to go everywhere – even inside a room –

                                                           to get inspiration.

He follows his thinking and his mind flies high.






Poetry is Cover-up. The young man hides his feelings

                                                 and thoughts in Poetry

The old man finds the calm land for retirement

                                                and makes verses.

He makes friend with grass, flowers, birds, animals,

streams, wind, Stars, Moon, Sun...

So Poetry is Quietness. It is also Nature.





Poetry is Amulet. The soldier holding his weapon reads

poem and hides it secretly in his shirt, then he throws

himself into the enemy line at the battlefield.

Death runs away.

He returns home to meet his lover and family with

                                                     wounds on his body.

Poetry is Rescuing. Poetry is Resurrection.





Poetry is Calamity. It opposes the depression of Politics,

the opaque mind of Religions and the decadence

                                                                 of Culture.

The Poet is sentenced, imprisoned and killed.

Sometimes his life is a reward.

His poetry has no permission  to be published, is seized

                                    and burn by the powered men.

Poetry declares war to Evil.

Evil wins, Poetry is Suicide.





Poetry is translation. From one language to another.

From birds, animals to Human Being

From grass, tree, flower to Human Being.

From land, sand, stone, rock, fire, water to Human Being

From planets such as Sun, Moon, Stars...

                                                            to Human Being.

Poet thinks about them and has to speak for them.

So, Poetry is Comprehension.

Poet is both a Representative and a Spokesman.





Poetry is Honey of Life. It is a combination of Feeling

                                                     and Thought.

It is also a Love Philtre, a Forbidden Fruit, Knowledge

                                                    and Prediction.

Poetry by itself is not valuable for a common person.

But is more precious than diamonds, gems, gold,

silver... in the mind of those who understand it

                                        and become Soul Brothers.





Poetry is a Weapon. It is able to dissolve Hostility,

Hatred, Loneliness, Separation, Sadness.

                                                     Even Fatal Destiny.




Poetry is a New Born Infant. Everybody who comes

into the world is called a Baby. He grows up and loses

his child instinct.

So, Poetry is not Guilt. Poetry is Innocent.





Poetry is Wordless. It is no word at all.

It speaks without words.

It is the thorough understanding of all meanings.

The space between the lines, the words is Wordless.

The space of the line above is Distance.

The space of the following word is Time.

Wordless Poetry appears before the Bible.




In Poetry – its Words and Meaning – as well as – 

in Short Story and Novel – represent a bell and a stick.

When the stick hits the Bell, sound is produced.

The bell and the stick disappear. Only echo lingers.

Wordlessness is the Echo – after the reading.



Now, Wordlessness Poetry is Unspoken Voices

- echoing – from Love, Spirituality and Eternity.


                                    SONG HO                                                           



 · THE WRITERS POST (ISSN: 1527-5467),
the magazine of Literature & Literature-in-translation.

      Volume 4, Number 2 July 2002



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