Thursday, August 30, 2012

What Is Poetry to Me?

I often happen upon poems that seem to have been customed for me. It makes me feel as if the poet stepped into my emotional shoes. I could taste and feel what the poem/poet wanted me to. It can jump-start my day or remind me of an unresolved issue. It gives me a feeling of oneness when I discover someone else's work that aligns with my viewpoint and sentiments.

Poetry, to me, is a means of expressing my thoughts, emotions, and ideas in such a way that it is conveyed with minimal words to get a particular message or opinion across. The power of a poem could lie in a single word or phrase that conveys a whole idea. It usually leads to self-reflection, my experiences, things I see, learn, and can pass on. Poetry is like the breathing in and out of self -that is in the sense that all I see or take in, must be put back out and shared in my own way, with my signature, to communicate my take on life and things I experience; it is highly individual. That stated, it is through our individualism that this oneness appears. Our words and styles may be different, but ultimately, some of the same sentiments shine through.

Poetry can be used to play on all the senses to fill in the gaps of those grey areas of life that otherwise cannot be explained through prose. It goes beyond prose in that each word is carefully considered for its emotional and musical value, among other things. What better way to show how your heart feels by describing it as and/or comparing it to objects outside ourselves in a poem? Where else can one creatively incorporate rhythm, tone, and words into pithy lines to convey a sense of urgency, happiness, angst or serenity? It is raining, and you are unhappy, which can simply be relayed as “My soul, weeping like rain” to convey your mood in a poem.
Poetry is also cathartic. Things happen to you along life’s way that can be released succinctly through poems. Going through the process of writing poetry actually helps me to understand a situation, learn, and grow from it. It is observation through experiences brought forward and pieced together with just enough words to convey an idea, message or feeling I have, leaving the rest to interpretation. Hopefully, this can move the reader to reflection and perhaps towards the fresh perspective I get from reading others’ works.

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