The Best Poems

“The best poems are not messages; they are lingual acrobatics, roiling heart and mind by setting them awash in words. In reading poetry, you don’t so much suspend disbelief as give yourself permission to be lost in language–to be carried along on a wave of words that cascades in delight or sorrow. You give yourself to the poem and ride this wave like a kind of emotional and intellectual body surfing, holding your breath the whole way, perhaps with a smirk or growing smile, perhaps with a squint and creeping frown, perhaps with a tear burbling up from inside your soul that finally drops at the poem’s heartbreaking end.”
– James K.A. Smith, Fors Clavigera

(Illustration: Willem the Younger Van De Veld, Ships on a Stormy Sea, 1672)