Between The Cracks

Maybe poems with a shape can have a better name than "concrete poem." 
This poem suggests a couple of other choices.

"Like any sidewalk, this allows two-way traffic. You can read those four paved paragraphs heading 'south' (top to bottom) or 'north' (bottom to top). Same goes for the four-line grass poem springing up in between. (Take a break, Dad.)" 


who wants to read a
 CONCRETE  poem?
(who wants to hold
a  lead  balloon?)
do you think that we should
hange that name?
maybe we should

Change it soon.

  Are words like stone? No! Blades of grass. 

if poems use words 
    to form a shape
   that we can clearly see,
   Then why not call them

    From winter grey, they spring light green;

concrete's good for
 sidewalks, blocks,

and pavements, good for bricks and roads.
but poems are made
of words, not rocks,
and carry only
weightless loads.

   Despite slabs, bricks or blocks, they pass--

who'd choose a

poem to write?
(who wants to grow
a rose of stone?)
why should warm thoughts 
or feelings bright,
by such a cold
grey name be known?

   'Round, over, up! Through! In between! 

If you've read the pavement-paragraphs top to bottom, you've stopped here. But you could start here and read the 4 lines of 'grass' heading back 'north' again. Or those 4 slabs of pavement. Or--you could read the sidewalk in one direction, and the grass as you head back the other way. Or you could forget all this and eat an apple.

copyright 2003 Brad Burg
Ideally, this poem should be animated, to make its point. Want to try? Send me an e-mail about it (Here's a chance to make "watching the grass grow" interesting.)



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