My best work is done between 12am to 5am when the world is asleep and I can hear the sound of my own thoughts drumming and humming, turning and churning. That’s when I feel the words, so restless and desperate to come out into the world; desperate to be born. This in itself is poetry; not just the writing, but the feeling. If you do not feel it, you can not write it. You don’t have to be nocturnal like me, you can write poetry at any time. The greatest poets are the ones without rules. They break boundaries and use their words to change the world, sometimes, without even trying. Can you tell? I am absolutely and irreparable in love with words. I started writing poetry when I was 16 years old, but I have been in love with words since the day I was born, I think. Words are all around us. We use words to convey what we feel and how we feel it. If you have words, then you can write poetry. You must understand that it takes a great deal more than just words. It takes skill, determination, inspiration, passion, consistency, mentorship, and all that good stuff. But first, it begins with putting the words we use every single day together–do you think you can do that?
“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”- Robert Frost
“As a guiding principle I believe that every poem must be its own sole freshly created universe, and therefore have no belief in ‘tradition’ or a common myth-kitty or casual allusions in poems to other poems or poets, which last I find unpleasantly like the talk of literary understrappers letting you see they know the right people.”- Philip Larkin
So, how do you create your own universe? I have always believed that for one to truly write, one must truly feel. I must confess, there are days when I write without feeling the words and it leaves me hollow and empty. That’s not the way I want to feel when I am birthing words into the world. I encourage you to feel. Yes, it may make you vulnerable and expose you to harsh realities that you’ve been trying to protect yourself from. But poets are not scared of feelings, they embrace them. They bask in the glow of a tear, a laugh, anger, sadness, madness, excitement, love, heartbreak, etc. Whatever you’re scared of is where your inspiration lies. Don’t be worried about the world learning about you intimately because poetry is not always about you. It’s sometimes about your neighbor, your sister, your friend, your brother, your lover, your husband or your wife. It’s about using the carelessness of life or the carefully laid out plans that went awry to write something that someone else can connect to because you connected to it. You don’t have to be in pain to write about pain, you just have to understand what pain feels like.
When you feel, you have to believe that those feelings are real. Believing sometimes takes faith. Know that the words are in you even when you are not inspired to birth them. Inspiration doesn’t come when you call for it, it sneaks up on you when you least expect it. So believe that anywhere you are, you can feel and you can write those feelings down. Now, the words do not have to be perfectly laid out in correct sentences or phrases that the world will eat up in one big gulp. It only has to make sense to you. I guarantee you, there’s someone out there who would understand the way you put your words together and what you are trying to convey.
Poetry does not tell lies; so be thorough and be truthful. I’ll hate to read a poem that reeks of pungent fibbles. The ability to put words together that pull at the heart strings is a gift that is pure even when it is written about the devil and his mischiefs. You don’t have a reason to lie because the best thing about poetry is that it is yours, all yours. It belongs to you and you alone. Never feel pressured to share your mind with someone else, only share if you’re willing to let others see. Keep it with you for as long as you need to.
Lastly, because of the unexpected turns that life takes, many of us will write our feelings down at one point or another. Some may turn those written feelings into poems, but not all of us can be poets. That’s okay because not all of us can be scientists or psychologists. If you want to write poems, you can. But do not feel the need to attach yourself to it, poetry attaches itself to you. Like glue it sticks to the bottom of your heart and even the soulless becomes whole because poetry feels the empty spaces that was there before it came along.
Write something today and write it with all your heart. Feel it and birth it.
“Poets are masters of us ordinary men, in knowledge of the mind, because they drink at streams which we have not yet made accessible to science.”- Sigmund Freud.
I wrote a poem called the truth about poetry on @hersoulwrites1 and you can definitely check it out. I’ll have it on the blog in a few days.