I always loved to write. As a teen I wrote songs and short stories. As I got older I mostly kept journals. Fleeting and sporadic. But nonetheless there are some traces of my younger self in notebooks.
I look at the words that I wrote all those years ago and laugh at myself, seeing how consumed with self I actually was.
It’s something I’m glad I did and try to pass on to my kids.
But writing for me is more than just words on a page. I get to leave my feelings in a book or in a post and walk away. I’m not sure many people realize what a great tool writing is and how powerful a therapy.
Either way, recently as many of you know, I started this blog. I planned on it being a money maker and writing poetry was never my intention. Yet, as I posted day to day, it was clear that I was becoming, or already was, a poet.
When I think back, I’ve always had a stereotypical view of what a poet was.
I’d envision weird guys in berets in smoky cafe’s. Deeply in conversation about feelings and other nonsense. I’d think about creative writing classes where we had to dissect famous poetry and explain its meaning.
Although I liked to figure out what the poet was trying to say, it quickly became annoying. I used to think, why don’t they just say what they want to say? That became my obstacle to poetry.
I didn’t think my words were colorful enough. I didn’t think my words caused enough confusion to be considered “poetry”. They didn’t need to be re-read over and over again being dissected.
Also, I like to rhyme. I dig the flow. And being a musician, I think it is engrained in me. My brain is wired to think lyrically. Until one day while posting a “poem” I realized songs are just poetry set to music without the repeating chorus.
The beauty of poetry is that, for me, it can be short and sweet. I am a mother of four with a lot to do and sitting down for hours writing every day is not in my cards. But, being able to sit for a few minutes and write words others might enjoy seems magical to me. Luckily, I can write a poem in a few minutes. I do have the gift of being able to express my emotions with words easily. I know it’s not that easy for some.
I think a great exercise for anyone interested in writing poetry would be if they sat down with a pen and some paper and just wrote words that came to mind. Then, they go about their daily business. Later, when they have free time, go back to that list and re-read it. They would begin to see sentences form around those words. Details to accompany the thoughts they listed.
For me, that’s where poetry begins.
Even if they left those single words alone and arranged them to complete a thought, they would find a poem.
I know most people compare themselves to others. How they aren’t as good as this one or that one. Who cares! My words are my words. And your words are yours. Poetry comes from a place within us that no one can access or judge.
I remember the first poem I read that struck me. It later became my favorite after Johnny recites it to PonyBoy while they are hiding out from the cops in the movie the “Outsiders“. I was a teenager when the movie came out and strangely identified with the greasers, but that’s anther story.
That’s when I knew that words mattered.
They are our lifeline to the past, an anchor in the present and guide books for the future.
One day, when I am gone, someone will come across my notebooks and printout and songs. My children and grandchildren will know me through my words. Photos are great but my words will describe a me that no one right now can see unless I allow them. The beauty of writing is that it’s mine.
Poetry is the music in my life.
My Expression of what I see around me. What I feel about things. What I disagree with. My personality expressed however I choose.