Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance. ~ Carl Sandburg
A puzzling yet beautiful line. We know the poet tries to tell us something meaningful, yet, like with abstract art, the meaning seems to be left to our interpretation.
Perhaps that’s the beauty of poetry — its subtlety, meanings dependant on the reader’s state of mind. So, let’s take a guess. What do you think the line means?
I’ll give you my guess (okay half-guess, as I had some help):
Poetry, a provocation (echo) asks the sometimes closed mind (shadow) to explore its swirling thoughts, to write (dance).
Hmm … poetry as the driving force behind creative thought. I like that. In many ways, poetry seems to provide the mind with something to ponder, thoughts to arrange into poems through stages of poetic composition. I speak not from experience, but as a lover of poetry.
Care to venture a guess?
Image: johnsingersargent’s spanish-dancer