'And it was at that age...Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don't know how or when,
no, they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.'
From Poetry by Pablo Neruda
Poetry is my obsession. Poetry has become a part of me. It haunts and ravishes. At times when words don't come to me I feel lost, and trapped in an endless maze of frustration. It's almost a feeling of fear that embraces me when I can't write. Writer's block is my ultimate enemy, only outdone by myself. When I can't express myself I feel almost betrayed, only no betrayal I could feel in any other circumstance. Without poetry I am a wilted flower, with it - I blossom.
I've always loved to read, I can remember reading books and home when I was younger, and joining the local library so I'd have new and exciting things to read. Before long my love of reading transformed and embraced a love of writing.
I wrote my first poem around the age of seven, and have developed a passion for writing ever since. I even enjoy writing essays, as much as my traditional public school education has allowed me. (Yes, I know I'm strange.)
But I'd have to say the turning point of my writing came when I began at a Steiner School four years ago. Before then I would never have believed I could work so much intensity and emotion into my writing. I never realized I could take so many feelings and express them in poetry.
On my first day at the school a dream was born. That dream was to write and get my work published - For the world to read my emotions and experiences in the form of poetry. And that dream has been embraced, and drawn numerous steps closer since then.
'Poems are not . . . simply emotions . . . they are experiences. For the sake of a single poem, you must see many cities, many people and things . . . and know the gestures which small flowers make when they open in the morning. You must be able to think back to streets in unknown neighborhoods, to unexpected encounters, and to partings you have long seen coming; to days of childhood whose mystery is still unexplained . . .; to childhood illnesses . . . to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, to nights of travel . . . and it is still not enough.'
The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge
I have come to realise that poetry has as much a negative reputation as it does a positive. And I think that this is due on part to people forcing their poetry into uninterested readers faces. Needless to say, this is the wrong way to go about getting your poetry read. Save your poetry for interested audiences, or keep it to yourself.
Poetry is truly a wonderful thing. It holds the ability to stir up such powerful feelings and emotions in the person reading. Often these emotions are slightly different to those the poet was writing about. In my mind that is the amazing thing about poetry. When a poet writes in a certain way, they are able to pour emotion into their words that can be interpreted by the reader in a personal and individual way. I adore the poetry I read for this reason.
Yes, to me poetry is a beautiful thing, and I doubt I will ever stop loving it. It's in my blood. But in saying that, the world is full of people who differ in opinions about everything. Be careful, and don't leave yourself open to overwhelming criticism and rejection unless you are sure you can deal with it.
For most people poetry is a form of expression. In sharing their words they are opening their hearts and souls to the world. So a final word for those who don't see the beauty in poetry that I do. Be gentle... Hearts are easily crushed.
'Don't use the telephone.
People are never ready to answer it.
From Scattered Poems by Jack Kerouac