by Philip F. Clark

Beginning a poem has all the mystery of what poetry is: how words somehow find a place on the page, and then how meaning attaches and reattaches itself until it finds its true place. But ending a poem is often difficult — there is a kind of sadness, because you have reached the answer in the poem. You did not think that was what the poem was about — you thought it was simply about this or that. But the poem looks back at you, and you write out loss, sadness, release — the under surfaces of the poem — and the poem finds its body. Not the body you were expecting, but you hold on to it nonetheless. Embraces such as these enable you to get through everything.