You Bring Forth Poetry in Me

You bring forth poetry in me –
Each day I see you in the morn –
And in the eve – for a second time –
To this classical poet’s verse of life –
You add yet another beautiful rhyme

Now – if I only knew your name –
My heart – it would passionately say
That name – regardless how it may sound –
Over and over again – many times a day –
Which would be poetry in its own way

07.11.95 – 07.14.95



Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion
and published in Perspectives, ISBN 0-9686250-0-2.



Notes to this poem…

This poem grew out of the concept that someone’s name could sound like poetry. Often, this is meant in the context of love, like how your lover’s name might suddenly sound like poetry to you because you are in love with a person with that name but that it wasn’t so much poetry to your ears before. However, it could also be a case for someone you admire, or you just meet someone who has a beautiful name, in your opinion. For me, an example of the former would be the name Emily. It’s a nice name but until I read Emily Dickinson and grew to love her work, the name was not nearly as beautiful. An example of the latter would be the slew of names I consider beautiful enough to be poetic, a lot of which is ancient Greek or Roman names. Hence, one stanza poem 053 about giving my children Greek/Roman middle names, middle name so that if they didn’t like it, they could ignore it and hide it like everyone else who seems not to like their middle names… me included.

While this poem grew out of the concept of an otherwise common name suddenly sounding like poetry for someone because he/she fell in love with someone else possessing that name, I’m not one to just extend metaphors for a poem. Rather, this poem is about someone I didn’t know, but who I had seen a few times a day, like on the bus to and from work, for example. It’s a bit of a grown-up poem in that sense, I guess. The sight of that person incited poetic fervour in me, otherwise known as inspiration, despite the fact I didn’t even know her name. That’s nothing new to anybody, to see someone they don’t know who takes their breath away, with their looks, charm and/or whatever. I acknowledge this, but was absolutely certain that if I did know this girl’s name, whatever that name may be, it would be poetry to my ears, and that if I just repeated her name over and over, it would be poetry in its own way (aside from the obvious rhyming of one word in a mantra style chant).

Unfortunately, this sort of romantic or poetic fervour is a lot like lust in that it’s easily forgotten once it is past. Almost 13 years after writing the poem, I can’t even begin to recall anything about whom this poem might have been, name, face or what have you. There was more than one time this sort of incident has happened to me, which I don’t think that’s out of the norm, but none had been so memorable as to stick with me any more than the one I wrote about here… though it is somewhat strange I seem to be convinced this were about someone real in a real incident. Philosophically, how could I be so certain if I could not remember anything about a particular person? I could have written this recalling some past instances of this happening to me rather than someone specifically who incited the inspiration to write it. I don’t know, and I can’t prove my claim this were about someone real, but that’s the story I’m sticking with! 🙂


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