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This morning, my father shared this quote with me from the Jewish and Welsh physician and poet, Dannie Abse: “…I felt that poetry shouldn’t be an escape from reality, but rather an immersion into reality…”
I have been writing to immerse myself in my life since I was 11 years old. Poetry is my way of distilling and illuminating specific experiences to capture the essence of a fixed moment in time, like a snapshot. Often I believe something didn’t even happen unless I write about it, until I write about it. Other times I’m just desperately trying to solve and dissolve complex equations between my heart and head. All times I am committed to revealing, while being consistently reminded that what truly connects us is poetry’s willingness to reach the reader, unveiled, immersed in the precision of the present moment.


i first walked inside your home
nine months ago
to begin the peeling away
and the healing

my whole life
has been leading
to a shattering like this
decoding the chaos
i created
to conceal truth

water is a warning
words are heard
suffering is believed
walking comes hard

escape eludes and hides
but freedom reminds me
that the ocean cleanses
with each new tide
stripping debris while
depositing treasures
and that even the mountains
do not stay together

my soul knew
but i didn’t want to see
so denial, she slows
the speed of growth

with each choice
power replenishes my voice
altering the relationship
between what is gathered
and dispersed

i return today
to your home
each of us a wellspring
inside the healing
and we begin anew

~ from Writing for My Life…Reclaiming the Lost Pieces of Me: A Poetic Journey by Nancy Levin


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