A Poet's Candle

If you would be a master of the craft,
You must pursue it with undying love
And let your soul become a blazing candle,
Empowered with a lust as strong as time.
Thus only death will quench your burning light,
And then you'll rest among distinguished poets.

How sweet 'twould be to sleep beside the poets
Who garnered accolades for their fine craft,
Whose works shine on like some eternal light,
Embracing hearts in everlasting love.
Mere closing of the eyes with passing time
Cannot snuff out their great immortal candle.

'Tis true, great works become a living candle
Immortalizing dead and worthy poets;
So write with diligence, don't squander time,
But strive, nay, sweat to hammer out your craft.
Unleash your trembling soul to share with love,
Hence it will never die but burn with light.

In darkness not, great bards all sleep in light,
Their legacy illumines like a candle,
Their words still treasured with undying love.
How few they are compared to lesser poets
Who languished in perfection of their craft
And failed to give their souls, their sweat, their time.

Our bodies all must die somewhere in time,
Succumbing to the shutting of the light,
But all of us who labor at our craft,
Who ply our trade into a living candle,
Will bed with fellow great immortal poets,
Together bonded in eternal love.

I hope someday to join the bards I love,
When God shall issue forth that it is time;
I hope my works shine on like those great poets
Immortalized in ever-burning light.
Till then I'll push to fuel my poet's candle
With every tool effective for my craft.

With love and perseverance hone your craft,
And in your soul aspire to light a candle;
You will, in time, lie down with famous poets.

Copyright 1998 Ruth Gillis

Previously published in Poet's Review February 1999

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