For Carl Sandburg
A poet’s role is clear, even obvious, really,
when you consider the role of any storyteller.
A poet’s role is to sleep in the evenings
or the day—whichever they prefer;
to work, to toil with the lowest, the least,
the best of men, and the rest of them;
to carefully examine and speculate over
the dirt between the fingernails of society,
to weep with mothers and fathers of loss;
mourn with friends and even foes.
A Poet’s role is to astound with particularly
placed words, penned with some peculiarity;
to drench the dark we swallow in new light and
reveal a new path for the directionless heart;
to straighten the portrait of a beggar living
in filth, and reveal the world’s cyclical cynicism.
A poet’s role is simple: make the ordinary
extraordinary by any means necessary.