Forty definitions of what a poet is

I wrote this poem in 2009  as a declaration/definition of what the nature and function of a poet is. It is, if you like, my poetic credo and as such I have uploaded it as the first page on my website.  The method of defining a subject in terms of multiple images is the same as that used by the metaphysical poet George Herbert, whom I greatly admire, in his poem Prayer.

Netmaker; interpreter; spark bringer
to the tinder-dry rook-roost; nurse; midwife;
walker on rooftops; horse-whisperer; singer;
thief; lookout; lifeguard; preserver of life;
builder and crosser of bridges; artist
of all that disturbs, teaches or pleases;
dreamer; explorer; wallgazer; fabulist;
stone-breaker; namer of our diseases;
closer and opener of doors; coaxer of flame
from the hearts of others; plumber; scout; scourge;
playmaker; refiner of what first came
to hand or to mind; shapeshifter; demiurge;
cook; traveller; acolyte; word-warden;
sweep; labourer in the Muse’s garden.

© John Gohorry 2009

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