In a world that obsesses over time, and has little patience for discourse without profit, poetry is the perfect tool to point out our own limitations and inconsistencies in our use of language, and the quality in our dictations to ourselves and others.
But how do we find time for it in our lives? Especially in such a busy world, that has no patience for sentimentality or overthinking things that may or may not be useful. Such modern values, make the justification for poetry hard to maintain today.
Perhaps it is a question of values then. Do you take the high road, or the one left unsaid? Because, after all, poetry is, at its heart, the effort to explain that which is ineffable.
It is the fundamental translation of what can barely be understood or pinpointed by the limitations of our minds. It is metaphysical, it is the artistic expression and accumulation of years of repression. In its purest sense, it is the fight against the unknowable and indescribable.
It is the classic fight, of a human against unstoppable odds, which is life and its difficulties, the mortal representing the eternal struggle; to go on and try despite the difficulties.
It is the David and Goliath story, a tale of heroic pursuit and overcoming the odds. In poetry, our fight is the fight to express our innermost personal life and our most distinct aliveness, that remains, despite the horrors and disappointments that can threaten us on our journey.
Poetry has great value. Culturally and personally for those who practice it, it can be a beacon of light in the night when people need it. It can inform generations, like Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Keats and many more have done.
I like to think that practising writing poetry has made me a better writer, and a better thinker. Obviously we think in words and language, and using words and language most effectively has great bearing on the quality of our thoughts and interactions with others. How we relate to the world and express ourselves within it, is not confined to conventional avenues and standards. We have options and choices, and to me, poetry is one of the best gifts we have to accomplish this.
I carry a pocketbook with me. And whenever, in my day to day routines, that I remember to write in it, I will take it out, and I will stop and think, just for a moment. At times, it might seem as if the whole world has frozen around me, as I ponder and think on my experience at that moment, to find the right words to transcribe my own personal perspectives through words on paper.
In each inspired moment in time, I ask myself: what insights can I put down on paper? What can I have to say, what is most expedient, and what is most beautiful at this moment, right now?
Such questions, can often, at least for me, when putting pen to paper bring my mind back to reality, forcing my mind to accept the current predicament and the present reality.
That might be a responsibility and obligation for survival, or observing the endless movements, lives and energies of the city, with its many sources for inspiration, ideas and reflection.
Whatever moment it might be, whatever your experience when you write poetry, the purpose is to redirect one’s thoughts to something other than the worries of the mind. It brings us back to reality, it causes us to think critically and creatively, it challenges us to analyse and approach the world with awe and wonder again, just like when we were a child.
The structure and rigidity of language give us order and meaning, in a world that so often feels chaotic and wild. An ability for self-expression is vital throughout life. Take some time to nurture it by aligning it alongside your other life priorities.
Find time for poetry.
Explore my poetry collection over here.