An Homage to Words

by Paul de Souza

Words are powerful! Words are immortal, and with that knowledge comes the responsibility to choose them wisely. Once said, or written, they are difficult, if not impossible to take back.

In the Bible chapter Genesis, God said ‘Let there be light’, and there was light. Words are used as a catalyst for all creation. This is an important illustration of how influential they are. All the major religions have sacred words to live by, but to the Writer, all words are sacred.

Cambridge Arts Festival 2009

Our personal beliefs may differ, but we can likely agree that words contain great power. As Writers we communicate the worlds we create through prose or poetry, and feel empowered when we succeed. Indeed writers are heroic, the best of whom have changed history and enriched our lives in a myriad of ways. There are words of the law, dirty words, fighting words, and so on.
Language is indispensable. It remains with us from the beginning when we learn to talk, until the end when we draw our last breaths. Words can heal, or they can wound. How we use them is important.

Poetry is my specific area of interest. I always carry a piece of paper and a pen with me to capture any ideas, or observations that I may otherwise forget. Some of these one-liners or sketches may be developed into a poem, or, at the very least, be worked on more extensively later.

It’s fun to play with words that, at times, suggest a meaning that supersedes my imaginings. But I have never written anything of value without a lot of hard work. I write and re-write everything, often without satisfaction. Though, I have benefited from the critiquing that takes place at our Cambridge Writers Collective meetings. Receiving feedback and advice from so many different perspectives has been of great value, especially when it comes to determining if the work presented effectively communicates what I wanted to say.

What better way to describe poetry than a poem? So, here is a poem that I wrote.

Homage to Poetry

A poem is a clever mirror
the frame for a soul
deep and tricky
beneath the surface
of that shifting sea
fishing to show the truth
of spilled imagination
for your eye’s sake
we dance with delight
among words of colour
for a symphony of sentences

my tongue
your words
my words
our words
the water of life.


A past winner of Dorothy Shoemaker award for Poetry, Paul de Souza is presently working toward the goal of publishing a book of poetry illustrated with his artwork.

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