Poetry Mixtape 19: Howe to Continue

All lives are threaded with the good and the bad, with great joys and deep sorrows. Despite the loss and pain, we continue. We don’t forget, but we go on. No poem reflects this better than Marie Howe’s “What the Living Do.”

I tear up almost every time I read this poem. The details are so perfectly imperfect – what the living do is LIVE – and living is messy and mundane. It is broken grocery bags, spilled coffee, hairbrushes and car doors. It is desire. In our rush to desire more things, more intense experiences, we often forget to cherish every small moment. We do not remember that just being alive is a gift we should not take for granted. When someone we care about leaves the world of the living, we stumble around lost, wondering how we can go on. But we do. And we remember.


If you want to write:

1. Choose imperfect or boring details about an object or a place and make it seem special.


2. Remember someone who is lost to you. Include small details that are not the same since they are gone.


RIP Matt. I will miss you. Hope you have found serenity now.

7 thoughts on “Poetry Mixtape 19: Howe to Continue

    • Joseph, I don’t know how you could possibly love everything you draft since you DRAFT MORE THAN ANYONE I KNOW! I love this poem and would have written about it eventually – it just seemed like the right time for me since I recently lost a friend.

  1. Pingback: TGIF Freeforall « Margo Roby: Wordgathering

  2. Pingback: ~THICK QUILL-ED THOUGHTS~ « Metaphors and Smiles

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s