I almost hate the word poem or poetry because of the stigma it has taken on. People who don’t get it seem to think it’s some foreign, incoherent rambling of words for the sake of being artsy and creative. I think we are force fed poetry in high school and choke on words we don’t only not understand but at that stage don’t particularly want to understand. I have written all of my life-since I was ten and when you tell someone about poetry you can almost see their eyes glaze over. It’s some foreign overly artsy intense thing that makes most people who don’t care about it think your some kind of babbling foul.
I would prefer to call poetry-a verbal snapshot of life. It captures a description of intangible elements of some ones life and creates a tapestry of colors only through words. It would not make sense to speak in poetic terms in prose because there are too many elements that blur together and support each others processes. Another aspect of poetry for me is that it touches parts of the brain that aren’t normally accessed. You will be speaking about a feeling and describe it with words that people can relate to-for example-depression; the great steel vice that crushes us or the black chasm that always looms above us, a language is created that isn’t so much the sum of simply words but the sum of multiple feelings that people address with words. This way the poem starts out from the writer as their experience but when it is read, the reader injects their own feelings from the experiences they equate with the words chosen.
In a more self motivated process, I learn about myself and others every time I write because it is not the standard way of relating. From the subconscious, decisions and opinions are formed and reworked in every poem which grows the breadth of understanding of people, nature and that all encompassing theme of death. I see the world and people from various different perspectives from a subconscious bent and every time I write I learn more.
I believe if it was not for writing my coping mechanisms would definitely have been tested as poetry is a release valve that contains all of the fears, hopes, happiness and sadness. It filters the feelings and allows them to be processed first in subconscious and than to the conscious. I am working on a book on dealing with depression and living through the process and writing has helped a lot in getting through it. It tends to be the vehicle for writing as well as an illness that is alleviated through writing.
So when they glaze over when you mention poetry, lose the word-it is not poetry it is a word snapshot.
A language that transcends feeling, words and life, a way the inside speaks to the outside-okay I’m getting artsy now.