11 Nov We Are All Poets
WE ARE ALL POETS.
When something about the world awakens our soul, only a universal language can portray what we feel. Not a language confined to one country, city, or region, but a language that transcends borders, a language whispered by the winking stars and hissing winds.
Poetry is this language.
All beings on this earth speak as poets. The animals which dwell in mountain caves and linger atop flower petals; the plants which interact with the rising sun and lend beauty to the earth; they speak through feelings, senses, and songs of chirps and growls.
To me, poetry is a gratifying way to connect with the subtle details of life and the mysterious character of nature which leaves us breathless.
My body and my mind begin to stir early in the morning; I pour hot water from the kettle and watch the steam rise. Then I open the blinds while it’s still dark to feel the cool morning air.
I flip through pages of a book and learn something new to start the day. Then, I open up my journal to unload my restless thoughts, a connection with a physical page, a part of me.
Poetry is a meaningful way to appreciate these simple joys.
When something makes you happy, truly happy, what words come to mind to portray what you feel? Write them down, if for nobody else but yourself.
The power of poetry lies in its ambiguity. The words don’t have to make sense to anybody but the poet. In that, poetry speaks to all and one.
Poetry becomes our universal language.
When you witness a beautiful moment between two strangers or a marketplace bustling with life and color from the rows of fruits and spices, can words portray the music in your heart?
Sometimes what we feel is too difficult to put into a logical sentence. Perhaps only one word is needed, or a few words pieced together with intent like the three eloquent lines of haiku.
Each word is like stepping stones across a pond, where each step crosses the water, but it takes a hop, a jump, a leap of faith, to get from one to the next.
One looks at the pond and sees the stones emerge from the shimmering water; there’s an unstructured structure, a connection between each stone, a bond between each word that takes traversing to discover.
Each stone, each word, bears significance.
The meaning underneath may not be apparent at first; still, the words matter. Their strength sustains our weight as we make it from one side to the other.
When we think about poetry, what first comes to mind is a song-like rhythm; music without instruments to follow, only words and their underlying meanings.
Poetry evokes emotion in the reader or listener through the way the poem sounds when said out loud, how it looks on paper, and the image that comes to mind when considering the words.
Poetic devices such as imagery, metaphor, repetition, rhyme, and tone can create an overall effect that can communicate a feeling more profoundly than well-constructed prose.
Understanding a poem often takes more than one reading. However, immediate understanding is not the point of poetry.
The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reasons why.
I imagine Frost under a bare and withered tree in the early 1900s, with his feet in the dirt, listening to the squawking of black crows. I particularly love this one because it describes not a classically beautiful sunny day, but a somber November one.
I’ve always had an affinity for the cold, for rain, for raw nature and the earth’s elements. This poem captures that feeling. The language is universal, simple, yet each word contains a depth of understanding.
It sounds like Frost is talking about a woman who is with him. However, it’s sorrow he speaks of, a sadness in his heart.
That sorrow causes him to see this dark and dreary day as completely beautiful — the desolate and deserted trees; the faded earth, and heavy sky; these descriptions convey so much about what he’s going through. Poetry turns his darkness into light.
Through his words and his portrayal of the world he lived in, I feel connected to his spirit and that time, for poets live on forever through the noiseless songs they pen.
Our world may change — but our everyday experience of being human, our pondering of nature and the mystifying solar system, our wondering of place amongst it all — these common threads have woven patterns through time.
Through poetry, we’re able to explore these patterns and what it means to feel something incomprehensible. Through poetry, we may better understand what it means to be alive.