prism: seeing life through the lens of poetry

How do you define poetry? It could be summed up simply as a mix of words with metre, rhythm and rhyme, but that’s not always the case. I think of it as layered thoughts, slant storytelling, with a musicality that’s either deliberate or unsought. One of the joys of poetry is the rich variety that exists.

My latest poem describes the way poetry behaves by imagining it acting like a lens, a prism through which we see life and understand thoughts. It might look distorted sometimes, indistinct even, because each poem connects in a different way with every reader.

Yet the shaft of poetry’s luminous rays can offer insight, hope, joy and grace to others. My hope and prayer is that I can connect heart to heart with the words I share, and I hope you’ll get something out of this poem.

Creation of prisms 

Poetry is the creation of prisms
reflecting the light inside,
refracting each single word
that flies arrow-like, rainbow-bright,
to hit its intended target,
splintering apart
as each paper plane dives deep down,
weaving through the path
of an open, receptive heart.

Poetry can miss the mark,
become unintelligible 
to others, those who fail
to discern each line’s 
vitality, the secret messages
it speaks into being,
a dart of thought to the soul,
a tiny glint of light
delivered in morse code.

Poetry is a vital, living thing,
an entity that speaks 
a universe of thoughts
in differing tongues 
to different people tasked
with translating it,
or simply sitting with a piece,
comprehending its worth
in the presence of mystery.
© joylenton

I’ve defined poetry in various ways over the years. It’s an elusive art to pin down easily, speaking as it does to mind and heart. One description can be found on my ‘Why poetry joy?’ page. I’m intrigued by the varying perspectives and would love you to share your definitions/descriptions too. Perhaps, like mine, they alter depending on what season of life you are in and what speaks to you most. 🙂 ❤

13 thoughts on “prism: seeing life through the lens of poetry

    • Dear Michael, I’m so glad it spoke to you. My health has been more challenging for several months but I am finally getting a bit of creative energy back. In fact, I’m currently in the throes of writing a new book about sacred noticing which I hope to publish in March. How are you keeping now you’ve taken a step back from your usual commitments? Blessings of rest and peace to you, my friend. ❤️

    • I can definitely relate to your description, Michael. Poetry often arises when I am quiet, stilled and receptive, and quite frequently when I’ve been reading poetry others have written. It seems to stir the creative juices to do likewise. 😉 Thank you for responding and for kindly sharing this post! 💜

  1. Pingback: prism: seeing life through the lens of poetry – joy lenton | Pastor Michael Moore's Blog

  2. A prism, Joy, perfectly describes poetry especially when the light goes deep within me and I am more aware and open to what is happening.

    • Oh I’m so pleased you can relate, Jenny. The awareness and openness you mention are what prepare us to receive the words, assimilate their message, and make them our own. Blessings and love to you, dear friend. x ❤️

    • Shirley, I love the idea of snagging your mind and tugging at your thoughts with a stanza or simply a line of poetry. Thank you for being here and continuing to support my work even though I’m not such a frequent poster of content these days. I appreciate you, my friend! x 😊❤️

  3. Oh yes, I’ve often felt that dart of a simple thought reaching thru to the inner core of my heart! Thank you, dear Joy, for sharing your “darts” and “prisms” so freely with us. It’s a vulnerable thing to share Your personal words with another, and I so appreciate the ways you invite us in. Blessings, love, and hugs to you dear friend.

    • Your receptivity is a great gift to me, dear Bettie. It’s so encouraging when someone gets what is being conveyed via the lens of poetry and is aware of those tiny darts to the heart. There is a degree of vulnerability in sharing our heart thoughts, I agree, but it’s worth it when a connection is made, and the invitation to read, absorb, and sense the meaning is both given and received. Blessings, love, and grateful hugs to you, dear friend. x 💜

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