I was introduced to Edip Cansever’s poem, ‘The Table’, years ago, probably by the poet Dean Parkin. I am happy to use it again and again. It always feels so expansive. It’s the first poem in Kate Clanchy’s book How to Grow Your Own Poem. Edip Cansever ran a carpet shop in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. He believed that poems should come from life and find their own forms. The poem begins:
A man filled with the gladness of living Put his keys on the table, Put flowers in a copper bowl there. He put his eggs and milk on the table. He put there the light that came in through the window, Sounds of a bicycle, sounds of a spinning wheel.
You can find the poem here:
The man keeps piling things on the table, concrete and abstract things, ideas and feelings, his own sense of himself. He keeps piling things on. Now it s your turn.