21 Days/21 Poems: Some Part of the Lyric by Gregory Orr

The day for the last installment in the celebrations for National (US) Poetry Month has finally arrived.  I thank all my readers who joined me for all or part of this journey.  I really enjoyed it, though choosing 21 poems is not easy, given all the wonderful poetry out there. I return to my regular feature of one poem per week after today. I do hope that the poems have inspired you to read more poetry.

The theme for today’s 21 Days/21 Poems is poetry.

Some Part of the Lyric

Some part of the lyric wants to exclude
the world with all its chaos and grief
and so conceives shapes (a tear, a globe of dew)

whose cool symmetries create a mood
of security. Which is something all need
and so, the lyric’s urge to exclude

what hurts us isn’t simply a crude
defense, but an embracing of a few
essential shapes: a tear, a globe of dew.

But to what end? Are there clues
in these forms to deeper mysteries
that no good poem should exclude?

What can a stripped art reveal? Is a nude
more naked than the eye can see?
Can a tear freed of salt be a globe of dew?

And most of all—is it something we can use?
Yes, but only as long as its beauty,
like that of a tear or a globe of dew,
reflects the world it meant to exclude.

Source:  Poets.org

I love poems about poetry.  This one is profound and delightful.  I discovered the poetry of Gregory Orr when I went looking for poems to console myself with when my grandmother passed away.  Orr’s poems are short, personal and lyrical.  At age 12, he accidentally shot and killed his younger brother.   No one’s family is tragic but his family have suffered more than its share of painful losses. It’s not surprising then that he believes “in poetry as a way of surviving the emotional chaos, spiritual confusions, and traumatic events that come with being alive.” (Poets.org). Orr, born in 1947, is an American poet. Visit the Poetry Foundation for more on Orr and his poetry,

Well, that’s it folks :).  BTW, I also ended with a poem on poetry in the celebrations last year.  Here is the link: Introduction to Poetry by Billy Collins.



  1. Wow what an experience to live through, how sad. This poem is a fantastic one on poetry and I love the ending line, that it must reflect the world it excludes. Beautiful. I’ve loved your 21 poems and am looking forward to more poetry from you. Also, I actually read a short collection of poems last night so you’ve definitely had an effect! 🙂


  2. An interesting challenge. One that introduced me to a lot of poets. I immensely enjoyed your pieces and this one here too. Who can know the pain of loss more than a young boy who, in a second, send his brother to the netherworld. I am happy he sought refuge in poems and not in any other destructive activity. And through these poems we can also bury our sorrows, tears and blood as they fall like dew, not from temples but from the soul.


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