Since a girl, I felt sadness surrounding me. I looked at others and wondered what they thought. Though I laughed and played and splattered mess and created with play dough, paint and clay, I analysed and didn’t feel content. It was like a gaping space; dreaming every night for my world to make sense. And then, writing poetry.
Thank you for making me a better artist,
You taught me beauty in pain and art in sadness,
I bathe in raindrops and dance in grey clouds,
You’re a terrible love but one heck of a muse.
My sister read my diary. Red fire plastered my cheeks as I ripped each page and chucked the contents away. My diary resembled the natural ideas an 11-year-old has about life. Penning my emotions on a boy I fancy – why did I like him? He was older and looked cool. Writing about friends who copy and steal my style. My sister laughed as an older, teenage sister does. To me it was the worst betrayal and violation. My diary was my one release.
Hip-hop music has always influenced me. I became quick at picking up lyrics and to this day, impress people with my ability to memorise. Somewhere in the midst of listening and wanting to write my own rhymes, and my diary destroyed, I chose to begin writing poetry. Silly stuff at first. Lots of metaphors, comparing the growing and wilting of a flower to the changes in life. Many poems created for humour. Did you ever pass notes to your friends in class?
My school notes rhymed my boredom of a lesson with my desire to go shopping. I guess at eleven there’s only so much provoking conversation you can possess. In English, my teacher said we had to make a poem about another teacher without sharing who. At the end of class, a handful of us stood up to read ours aloud and see if students could guess. I was the last to read, a shocking, direct piece attacking a sub teacher who everyone hated. All I remember is the last line: “To round it all up, she’s an ugly, selfish cow”.
Writing Poetry lets sadness be okay
I need writing. I have to write to make sense of who I am. It took me awhile to realise I’m a born writer; it’s a single talent given which I won’t let go of again. As a born writer, I want to talk about everything. I want to write about the icky, complicated subjects no one knows how to bring up. Share the important discussions people forget.
Sadness is something we don’t know how to address. Bloggers discuss mental health and their experiences. But sadness itself, just the ordinary emotion crushing our hearts at varying degrees – it’s uncomfortable. Immediately when you tell someone you’re feeling sad, they compliment you; they encourage you and they relay the good in your life. What’s wrong with living upset for a minute?
I think it’s important. I don’t believe in denying emotions and what Chuck Hillig taught me years ago with my favourite book Seeds for the Soul, is ignoring or not accepting feelings is impossible and leads to festering. Emotions rotting your system because they’re pushed to the side without attention. Writing poetry allows me to talk about sadness and not be a victim.
My pain is art
Permission to reach the depths of my soul while still keeping my secrets and privacy. Telling everything and not telling at all. I can look at experiences in my life and say, yes, this is horrible. This is raw and horrendous enough that it will change me until my dying day. Quizzically romantic and heartful nevertheless, the pain can become a type of beauty. A product of art adding a jig-saw puzzle to the overall journey of me.
Each poem has a hidden inscription a reader wouldn’t know. When a poet is writing poetry, they use words relating to them. Readers then interpret them and one poem unfolds hundreds of hearts. Writing poem has made me who I am. I couldn’t write, think or create as I do without knowing it. Sometimes I’m asked how to improve writing. Beginner me says to get poetical.
Often, we’re in a hurry thinking what to write. What about how to write? Poetry makes you contemplate flow and pick words carefully. You have to stop and articulate. Poetry is not embarrassing. You can glance back on poems from the past and smile instead of cringing. There’s opportunity to express yourself eloquently.
The rise of young women poets
An article in The Guardian talks about young women such as Charly Cox and Rupi Kaur attracting millions of followers with their poetry. “Young women aged 13 to 24 are now the biggest consumers of poetry in the UK”. Females finally being addressed; poetry is blooming diversity. Women have artists to refer to when conversing on this outlet. Anthologies in English are typically the first taste of poetry. Not relatable and an hour spent trying to understand. Today more people are writing poetry and realising the power of communicating by using this old and wonderful art form.
Do you enjoy writing poetry? Do you use it as a way to express personal thoughts you may not say out loud?