This is a guest post I did for The Top 10 Blog which originally posted on 6/14/2011
When I was ten I discovered poetry. Poetry to me at that age was molded around Dr. Seuss and Nursery Rhymes. Then it wrapped around Robert Frost and Edgar Allen Poe. My style manifests in the contemporary but my heart still beats with writers like Pablo Neruda and Bukowski. As much as poetry lay by the wayside of literature, it is still highly respected amongst those in the writing industry.
Appreciation still runs thin by the common reader. My own children remind me often of their dislike of poetry. What I fear they don’t understand is that their idea of what is considered poetry is limited to highly metaphorical works that teachers cling to for deconstruction. These forms are great for colleges and even for High School, but it often takes the enjoyment out of it for the person who is only there because they have to be. There are amazing forms of poetry that beat past the basic rhyme scheme or confusing metaphors that leave only confusion to the untrained reader.
Poetry is art, and bleeds from the veins of so many hands. For the poet, it is a necessary expression. It brings release, a healing platform, and understanding. Personally I use it to mend gaps in my own understanding of the human condition. As poetry is subjective, it brings an enormous amount of range for your enjoyment. This does not excuse bad forms of writing, which are out there and we have all experienced them. I always encourage people to try their hand at poetry and just like any other form of writing, or any skill for that matter, know your strengths and weaknesses. Hone your skills and keep writing.
Don’t sell yourself short by assuming you don’t enjoy poetry due to reading a few poems that did not spark your interest. Find the form that touches your heart and speaks the words that you couldn’t find, but desperately needed to say.
Here are some beautiful expressions of poetry that will fit any set of tastes.
“Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down today.
Nothing gold can stay.” – Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay
“When I lived amongst the roots
they pleased me more than flowers did,
and when I spoke to a stone
it rang like a bell.” – Pablo Neruda, Too many Names
is free and she is in me–no, my love
of her is in me, moving in my heart,
changing chambers, like something poured
from hand to hand, to be weighed and then reweighed.” – Sharon Olds, High School Senior
- Spoken word holds some of the greatest poetic talent I have ever seen, my favorite being Andrea Gibson. Spoken word is an entire community of its own and I would encourage everyone to take time to research some of the wonderful talents out there.
“yesterday I carved your name into the surface of an ice cube
then held it against my heart till it melted into my aching pores
today I cried so hard the neighbors knocked on my door
and asked if I wanted to borrow some sugar
I told them I left my sweet tooth in your belly button.” – Andrea Gibson, Maybe I Need You
There is poetry for every aching soul and words out there that will speak to you in a language you never knew before. Take time to appreciate the many talents and wonderful people who shed their skin everyday for you to read.