What Poetry Is: An Ars Poetica Cento as Villanelle by Andrena Zawinski

Poetry is a river many voices travel–
a sigh at dawn, a wild soft laughter
that carries us from this mortal world.

It is all things born with wings that sing,
made with the syllables of dreams.
Poetry is a river many voices travel.

It is far far cries upon a beach at nightfall,
a lighthouse moving its megaphone over the sea.
Poetry carries us from this mortal world.

It speaks the unspeakable,
utters the unutterable sigh of the heart.
Poetry is a river many voices travel.

Poetry is the sun streaming in meshes of morning,
the boat moored in shade at the bend of the river
that carries us from this mortal world.

Poetry is a humming, a keening, a laughing
dissolving halos in oceans of sound.
on a river many voices travel
that carries us from this mortal world.

Previously Published in Found Poetry Review, Vol. 5

Source Texts: from Ferlinghetti’s What Is Poetry  and Oliver’s Poetry Handbook*

Andrena Zawinski was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, but has made the San Francisco Bay Area her home. She believes that all poetry is essentially “found,” whether as literal text or sketched on sky as clouds or as inspirational lines from beloved poets. Her latest full poetry collection, Something About, received a PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award. Zawinski is also Features Editor at PoetryMagazine.com. andrenazawinski.wordpress.com/category/poetry