were once, before they were nine,
just three; and before that,
only one was named: and she was, Memory.
Does that make poets just regurgitators
of what’s already been oft said –
and better, too, some would aver…?
No, it’s more subtle than that; ask a poet:
a poem that comes warm, hot, from the human heart
demands a summary birth; won’t hang around
while you go out to buy more toys and frills
to hang around the cot…
it is indeed, more like remembering:
as if you step into a timeless place
where all that’s needful is to remember
what the future poem shall, will, have said..
write it down; and maybe sleep on it;
when you wake, you may remember
two lines somewhere which you’d forgotten,
but know exactly where that is…
That Muse of memory will then decide
whether a poem that has a timeless birth,
may have a timeless life… or not…
How can a poet claim a poem as his, or hers,
when such a Muse? and yet, so close at hand?

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