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The Heart Of Poetry

Poetry is a form of writing that most people don’t pay attention to. Even those who read the biggest books won’t pick up a small poem. It seems meaningless to them compared to the adventures of their novels. I’ve been that way for most of my life. Always reading and appreciating literature, but never reveling in the beauty of poetry.

“And when wind and winter harden / All the loveless land, / It will whisper of the garden, / You will understand.” – To My Wife, Oscar Wilde

I think the reason is school. Every year the English class curriculums require poetry. There are guides, big words, and a formula for creating the perfect poem. However, I’ve come to find out that poetry isn’t perfect and there isn’t this perfect formula for it. While personification, metaphors, and similes are great you don’t need them for a poem to be good.

Personally, I prefer personification. In my opinion, it’s always been easier to make an inanimate object come to life. “The smiling sun,” and, “Caressing towel,” are just two examples. Before yesterday, I hadn’t written poetry in a long time. In fact, the last time I remember writing a poem was with my sister one night. I don’t remember what I wrote about, but I used one of her prompts from her class.

“Words, words were truly alive on the tongue, in the head warm, beating, frantic, winged; music and blood but then I was young.” – “Little Red Cap” by Carol Ann Duffy

All I remember was that it needed to make me mad and uncomfortable. It was then I learned that poetry is uncomfortable. It’s not like writing a novel where you can be someone different from yourself. In poetry, you are yourself. You can’t hide behind a mask or pretend that it isn’t how you really feel. It is pure, raw emotion and intimacy. It’s passion and everything about your life that you love and hate.

Before that night, I hadn’t written since I was with one of my ex-boyfriends. I’d thought that I’d lost my ability to write poetry because he’d left me so empty. I also thought that I wasn’t good at it. (I’m definitely no Emily Dickenson). However, you don’t need to be an Emily Dickenson to move someone with your words.

Robert Frost once said, “Poetry begins with a lump in the throat.” It’s what you feel and it’s your chance to release those thoughts on paper. It’s a great outlet, especially if you can’t find the words verbally.

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