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Recipe For a Good Poem

by Elisha Porat

A recipe for a good poem . . .

Take one painful childhood memory,

Coat it with the thin, green patina

Of all your years and all your words,

Then take out one sharp pencil,

To peel this memory and carve it

With strength -- like you’d use a scalpel --

Until you meet the fresh muscle of life.

translated from the Hebrew by the author and Ward Kelley
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