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Saturday, November 14, 2020

Poetry through the eye of a needle

A poem often engages us with a new comparison, an uncommon viewpoint, an unusual image, or a rhythmic thought that beckons us (poetry writers and readers) to investigate more thoroughly. This can be a moving force for other types of writing, too, or effectively assist you as you revise.

For instance, as you look over a first draft, ask yourself:


  • Does this poem contain something I’ve never heard before nor seen written somewhere else?
  • Will the poem evoke an interesting thought or picture in the reader’s mind?
  • Does anything make this poem stand out?
  • What’s new?


If you don't see any of those outstanding qualities, just give your poem more time. Then, you might not have a big revelation but, more likely, will see something as light as a new twist on a cliché or as small as a needle’s eye – both of which came to me as my Bible study group discussed Matthew19: 24. (That link will take you to many translations of the verse as found by researching on Bible Gateway.)


Entering the Eye of the Needle


In the middle of a haystack, strewn

not with straw but distractions

of health, wealth, and power,

lies the tiny eye of the



How can a non-seeker see?


A pin-prick locates the point

of discomfort, piercing

the soul – the threaded

needle knotting our

neediness to



by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2020-2014


The above poem appeared in the book of Bible-based poems, Outside Eden, published in 2014 by Kelsay Books then in A Gathering of Poems, ©2020


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