It is almost impossible to read poetry to any extent without wanting to write a little of it yourself. Writing poetry has a tendency to make us a little more observant, and a little more aware of the way we say things. So, I have been reading Robert Frost and under his influence have written a very brief poem that, of course, does not compare with the master. Yet it does satisfy some of the longing in my soul to somehow make a tiny imprint or impression on the world, perhaps the way an ant might make a tiny footprint in the mud somewhere on top of the boot-print of a pair of galoshes. You see how bad my metaphors are…
It is a chilly time of year. Yet snow is melting and the frost Seldom makes an effort to appear. Cold winds search as if they're lost 'Midst the expectations of a warming spring.
Notice how I snuck “frost” in there. Actually, that was not on purpose, but may have been a subconscious nod to the great one. I find it interesting when I write poetry that every line is a struggle between self-expression and the constraints of the form. It does tend to prompt one to think quite precisely about what is being said, and also to make compromises that one might not make in common speech.
All this tends to make reading poetry more of an effort than reading other forms of writing. Because more thought goes into it, more thought comes out of it. It becomes a little like reading mathematical expressions, or philosophy, or even liturgy from a religious service. I think it is no accident that “liturgy” is derived from the Latin and means “work of the people.”