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The Poet's House


NARRATIVE - When Bruce Johnson invited me to participate in his Poetry House sculpture project, neither of us had any idea where that invitation would lead. And indeed, it took almost nine months before I unconsciously transposed his Poetry House to The Poet’s House, an alteration of language that became the key to my writing. Thus, The Poet’s House came into being with the help of Trickster, who is so often the source of creative work, turning things upside down or inside out and stimulating thought by means of accident or “haps.”

But it was the personalizing to the poet’s house that gave me entry to writing what I found the poet’s house to be. Four books, which could be thought of as sections, emerged – a single long poem written in long-hand that refused to come into type, a hand written book that required binding and an artist’s box to live within the sculpture. But even before it was bound, the manuscript found its way into the sculpture when friends were invited to take phrases and words from its pages and write them on the Poetry House walls, imbuing the structure itself with poetic language. What is the poet’s world? It is the whispers of The Four Winds, the voice of Coyote and the elder who tells his story. It is the Dust and Ashes of our world with all its violence and its beautiful birds, it’s temple bells and monks, its wars and ruins and autumn apples.

So The Poet’s House finds a home in Poetry House* where a visitor might also find a notebook and pen to encourage those who enter Poetry House to discover and record their own poetic musings – to encourage the poet in each of us to enter not only the house of Poetry, but the inner landscape of poetic mind – the meditative looking out at the world, the mind I wrote from when I wrote The Poet’s House, which was really a long meditation from a state of mind so personal it passes through itself and shape-shifts to something larger, something I cannot call my own.
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*Bruce Johnson, sculptor. You will find his Poetry House there. While the original 76 page handwritten book belongs with Poetry House, it has been scanned and copies are available by special order at poetherron@gmail.com. Please use the subject line: Poet’s House.