The Table

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.

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