When space is silence…

Words, sounds, and space…

On writing a poem


You: How do you write a poem without knowing what to say?          

I start by attempting that impossible silence in my head    
while your question bounces with varying emphasis     
filling in that luxurious void so hard to come by    

The bounces start changing frequency    
sometimes they go into resonance    
sometimes they touch chaos    

Their fractals get confused and mutate into new words    
sounds under my hair that do not always make sense    

Then comes the conscious mind    
trying to understand the patterns in those sounds    
Out comes a verse stamped onto the white screen    
–white paper     occasionally    

A verse follows a verse
like those bounces with a question mark
A stanza is formed        somehow  
followed by a second, third, sometimes a fourth one    
That silly conscious self comes back and deletes half of the words  

The tempo changes  
a short silence feels my spirit  

Some verses exchange places    
 some   get distorted  
others transmute into a butterfly or a frog   

An even shorter

Followed by dismissal of more words 

A thorough read 

More chaos 


A poem has been written! 

_____Adriana Citlali


It’s open link night again, my poet friends. Join us at Week 124 | dVerse.

Author: Adriana Citlali Ramírez

A citizen of the world, born in Mexico city... A physicist (working as a geophysicist) and a part-time artist (creative writing, oil/acrylic painting, photography)… All posts, visual art, and poems ©Adriana Citlali Ramírez. All rights reserved.

19 thoughts on “On writing a poem

  1. ha. poems are def born out of chaos….emerging one finger at a time…sometimes in parts…growing up into stanzas…and birth is not a painless process either..ha

  2. Love the reference to both chaos and fractals. 🙂

  3. What a wonderful poem about how a poem comes to be. You have really described the process in an intriguing way. I can identify with the idea of ‘bounces’ and also the move from the subconscious to the conscious mind, the changing in the order of verses, etc. It seems indeed like a chaotic process at first, but it IS bliss indeed when a poem finally is born. Well described!

  4. You definitely nailed the process, Adriana. Start with silence and pass through chaos and eventually that bliss when you’ve arrived. Re: your comments on my blog–the photo doesn’t begin to fit what I saw. That’s why I’m kicking myself for not stopping to take a photo!

  5. haha… you capture it so well… it is a process isn’t it… a bit like giving birth…a bit like painting and overpainting…and re-thinking the colors and changing the colors… oy… those poets…smiles

  6. I am sure lots of us can identify with your poem Adriana, some way or other. I am often amazed at how I come up with a poem when I thought nothing would come out of ‘the silence in my head’.

  7. Nicely done. There is the moment upon the completion of the process that is so gratifying…blissful! Great work 🙂

  8. Very clever! Poems definitely find themselves. I find this actually even more true when writing in a form. Thanks. K.

  9. PS–especially liked all the bounces here. k.

  10. Hey Adriana

    you read my mind 🙂 I have read many attempts to articulate the process of art-making or poetic composition but in truth they usually fail to come close to the actual practice as I see, feel or experience it BUT my eye and mind where fixed throughout.

    Your writing is crisp and clear and effective, not to mention accurate: all of which is essential to convey the magic and the flare . . . and flair is there also – a real pleasure to read.

    the battle between conscious awareness and instinct , the plunge pool of dream and magic: you nail it

    thank you, best 🙂

    • Hey Arron,
      Apologies for the late response…

      I truly appreciate your kind comments. As you mentioned, the creative writing process is not always easy to explain –even to another writer as we are all different. I believe that for this type of “difficulties” in communication, poetry helps. Poetry has the ability to charge with extra meaning each word and to create images that translate with a range of variations to different persons while keeping their main essence. Maybe that is why this poem works. I do not know!

      Thanks, again!

  11. Amazing how often the destination is not where you thought you were going.

  12. How interesting to hear how you create.

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