Katrina Swanson: A favorite poem

The Wordsworth Effect
Joyce Sutphen

I keep a text document on my computer of every poem that touches me at a that precise moment. I often go through and reread them, looking for inspiration or even a little autobiographical evidence. This poem never ceases to inspire me. It speaks to the moments when poetry is absolutely necessary and how the everyday, simple things are at the very heart of poetry.

Katrina Swanson
Student at San Jose State, 21
San Jose

The Wordsworth Effect

Is when you return to a place
and it’s not nearly as amazing
as you once thought it was,

or when you remember how you felt
about something (or someone) but you know
you’ll never feel that way again.

It’s when you notice someone has turned
down the volume, and you realize
it was you; when you have the

suspicion that you’ve met the enemy
and you are it, or when you get
your best ideas from your sister’s journal.

Is also-to be fair-the thing that enables
you to walk for miles and miles chanting to
yourself in iambic pentameter

and to travel through Europe with
only a clean shirt, a change of
underwear, a notebook and a pen.

And yes: is when you stretch out
on your couch and summon up ten thousand
daffodils, all dancing in the breeze.

Joyce Sutphen


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