Lined Paper

Must I always
follow lines?
Need we really
make neat rows?
Do I have to
trap my thoughts
between these narrow bars?
Yes, I know they’re meant to help,
but my words want to
circle up,
       grow and spread,
                    tangle and web,
                            like a wild meadow of pale purple asters

         set to seed by the wind.


I hope you’re enjoying National Poetry Month. More tomorrow.


© all rights reserved, Elizabeth Steinglass, 2015

17 replies
  1. Ralph Steinglass
    Ralph Steinglass says:

    Beautifully said ! my feelings as well about lined ( ruled ) paper … and not as scary, by half, as your portrait of a stapler yesterday …. I’m enjoying poetry mont a lot so far … thanks to you 🙂

  2. Rosi Hollinbeck
    Rosi Hollinbeck says:

    “If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.” Juan Ramon Jimenez I found this quote at the beginning of Fahrenheit 451 and have never forgotten it. Your poem reminds me of it.

  3. Linda Baie
    Linda Baie says:

    Love that you like to “circle up”, and on, Liz. I had a student tell me firmly last week that she preferred her field journal with no lines, would make her own organizational lines as needed. I will share your poem!

  4. margaretsmn
    margaretsmn says:

    Lines are so confining. Look at all those little children learning to stay in line. Oh, how good they want to be. Like your paper wants to be perfect. But when we are not perfect, are we not good?

  5. Janet F.
    Janet F. says:

    Hi Liz,
    Tried to write a comment on my phone when this was first up….I really like it a lot. Love how your words want to circle and web…. and then fly into the wind. Wonderful poem.

  6. Myra GB
    Myra GB says:

    Love the vision of words trapped in the lines of a page. Must be the reason why I prefer blank unlined notebooks (haha). 🙂 Hope you had a lovely Easter celebration.


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