Thirty Things a Poet Should Know      

Thirty Things a Poet Should Know

you will pay for your coffee
no hat is right for every occasion
when you hear a bird call, give it a name
cows kills more people each year than sharks do
few can name the sixty-some English names for pink
death does not rhyme with health, but wealth rhymes with stealth
many writers composed their best work during pandemics
when your read a poem, your audience may think bear foot when you say barefoot
one of the greatest poets wrote an ode to salt
the world’s largest salt mine is 1,800 feet under Lake Huron
tears evaporate unless you catch them
when praise is needed, do not hesitate
embrace yourself as both title and footnote
learn from the wind’s scansion of a noble fir in a squall
when you begin to measure life in stanzas, massage your connective tissues
pronouns take shortcuts like rivers
the muse rides her own stream, flows away until you build a raft
imagining zebras or Kanthaka when you read horse is acceptable
hoard your matches for when the way is dark
tender your sorrows
for every poet buried under cathedral stones, many languish in pauper’s fields
memorize one line that an ancient said
insure does not mean ensure
once there were more trees on earth than stars in the Milky Way
when using a typewriter two spaces were advised after a period
rules change
the U. S. Constitution was printed on hemp
read your way to writing
what you are looking for is not lost
the moon is there, somewhere


Tricia Knoll is a Vermont poet whose new chapbook Let’s Hear It For The Horses is coming out February 1 from the Poetry Box. This poem was published earlier in Verse Virtual where Knoll is a contributing editor.

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