How to Knit a Poem (Gwyneth Lewis)
The whole thing starts with a single knot
and needles. A word and pen. Tie a loop
in nothing. Look at it. Cast on, repeat
the procedure till you have a line
that you can work with.
It’s a pattern made of relation alone,
my patience, my rhythm, till empty bights
create a fabric that can be worn,
if you’re lucky and practised. It’s never too late
to pick up dropped stitches, each hole a clue
to something that might be bothering you,
though I link mine with ribbons and pretend
I meant them to happen. I make a net
of meaning that I carry round
portable, to work on sound
in trains and terrible waiting rooms.
It’s thought in action. It redeems
odd corners of disposable time,
making them fashion. It’s the kind of work
that keeps you together. The neck’s too tight,
but tell me honestly: How do I look?