How Beautiful The Beloved (poems by Greg Orr)

Thanks to my pal Denise, I recently enjoyed (kinda swam through in one luxurious sitting) this new book by an old favorite poet of mine.  I feel compelled to share a few of the pieces I found moving, thought-provoking, etc. These poems are so different from poems I write, and I admire them so.

On the one hand, this is a book I so enjoyed reading straight through, so it feels odd taking the (untitled) poems out and setting them on their own. On the other hand, the book is also striking me as one you can, indeed, dip in and out of.  I hope folks like these, and if you like what you read, you should buy the book.  🙂  OK, so here are three poems:


To learn by heart is to learn
By hurt — grief inscribing
Its wisdom in the soft tissue.

Song you sing, poem you are —
Finger moving, precise
As a phonograph needle,
Along the groove of scar.
Words, of course, but
Also the silence
Between them.

Like the silence
The beloved and you.
Silence full
Of the unspoken
As a seed is full
Of all
It will become.

No poem made only
Of silence.
No poem
Made only of words.
Poem that opened you —
The opposite of a wound.

Didn’t the world
Come pouring through?

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