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Reflections On A Poem

These lines of poetry by Federico Garcia Lorca are usually distributed to workshop participants who are asked to reflect and comment on them.


The poem, the song, the picture
is only water drawn
from the well of the people,
and should be given back to them
in a cup of beauty
so that they may drink,
and in drinking
understand themselves


From Rosemary Kiss
April , 2002

Federico Garcia Larca's exhortation to the artist is short, but beautifully succinct.

In this writing workshop, I find myself touching an area  inside me that I was not even aware of: the water drawn from the well of the people.

I find this even more mysterious, as I have  great difficulties explaining verbally what so easily glides from my pen unto paper.  it feels like a dam has burst and the flood will not  be stopped!

In attempting to write a memoir  of my family's history, my hope is that it
becomes, if  not  a cup of beauty, an earthen vessel,  for those members of my family thirsting for the water of greater understanding of their part in history.



From Rosemary Kiss
October, 2005


These words of exhortation from Federico Garcis Lorca, Spain's famous poet, are still as valid as they were at the time of his death in August of 1936, three months after my birth.

We as writers, poets, composers, or painters, are the well of the people.  Our attempts to express ourselves in these different ways, baring our souls, dipping deep into the waters of inspiration and imagination  might become the cup of beauty that refreshes those who follow us, read our stories, enjoy our songs, and contemplate our paintings.

None of us know what impact our words, our music  and our art will have on people, but by absorbing these things in their consciousness, they might be better able to understand  themselves and their own history.

For myself, it means that I hope by writing about my family's history, I will present a window for my children  and grandchildren to view their roots, and by s doing, create an awareness of the interconnectedness of the human family.

My only regret is that I did not avail myself early enough of the sources necessary to fully know and understand my family's history.  The well of my people is drying up, as already many members of my generation have passed away.


From Jean Swoboda
April 2005


Writers tell their stories, poets and musicians their songs and painters show us how they see the world.  All this is like a mirror to show us  what is going on around us.  All the art around us helps us to understand ourselves.


From Helga Ruby
April 2005


After reading the lines of poetry, by Frederico Garcia Lorca, over and over again, I was having a most difficult time understanding them.  Eventually I came to the conclusion, that all of us have diverse thoughts, when we decode the writing of a poem.

I would render the lines, as an unending form of art, that  the huge human race possess.  I can compare this precious possession to a well, with its never ending supply of water.

Every poem that is written, every song that is sung, every picture that is drawn or painted is one's special gift: a cup of water from the well of who we are.  Just like the well, all our lives we continue to give cups of ourselves.

We share our many talents, whatever they may be with so many people know and unknown to us.  By so doing we enrich not only our lives, but also the lives we touch.

By graciously receiving a cup of beauty and drinking in the water, we acknowledge the complements to our lives and thus come to understand who we are.


Eleanor Fenske
April, 2005


I thought about the poem a long time.  I read it and read it again.  It really didn't make much sense to me.  But, then, I rarely read poetry and don't pretend to understand it.  

My best guess is that , "the poem, the song, the pictue" are beautiful things made from ideas drawn from many people and many life experiences.  In turn these beautiful things are made for all people to enjoy.  When you look at a picture, everyone sees it differently and draws different impressions from it.

When you read a poem, it has a different meaning for different people, but hopefully it can have some meaning for you which you enjoy.


From Roberta Snett
April, 2005


The poem states that all things creative and artistic  are simply representative of the spirit of the people and should be reflected back to them in all of their artistic beauty.  As we receive  their works we can  see with greater clarity and have a better understanding of ourselves and each other.

 Water represents life blood.  The well would be the source.

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Poetry · Workshops