This Is a Poem That Heals Fish: An Almost Unbearably Wonderful Picture-Book About How Poetry Works Its Magic
Arthur’s mommy looks at him.
She closes her eyes,
she opens her eyes…Then she smiles:— Hurry, give him a poem!And she leaves for her tuba lesson.
Determined, Arthur continues his search.
He runs to Lolo’s bicycle shop.
Lolo knows everything, laughs all the time, and is always in love.
He is repairing a tire and singing.
— A poem, Arthur, is when you are in love and have the sky in your mouth.— Oh…? Okay.
— A poem? I don’t know much about that.
But I know one, and it is hot like fresh bread.
When you eat it, a little is always left over.— Oh…? Okay.
— A poem is when you hear the heartbeat of a stone.— Oh…? All right.
— A poem is when words beat their wings.
It is a song sung in a cage.— Oh…? Okay.
— When you put your old sweater on backwards or inside out, dear Arthur, you might say that it is new again.
A poem turns words around, upside down, and — suddenly! — the world is new.
— A poem? grandpa says, tugging on his mustache and looking worried. A poem, well… it’s what poets make.— Oh…? All right.— Even if the poets do not know it themselves!
— I’m sorry, Leon, I have not found a poem. All I know is this:A poem
is when you have the sky in your mouth.
It is hot like fresh bread,
when you eat it,
a little is always left over.A poem
is when you hear
the heartbeat of a stone,
when words beat their wings.
It is a song sung in a cage.A poem
is words turned upside down
the world is new.
Leon opens one eye, then the other, and for the first time in his life he speaks.— Then I am a poet, Arthur.— Oh…?