Are poets revolutionary?
I’ve always wondered the intentions of poetry. Was it a representation of the world? Or do poets, through our writing, change the world to what it should represent?
Then again, maybe I’m thinking too big. I should focus on myself. An entire universe lives within my skin. Me as insignificant as the moon in a galaxy of stars.
I ask myself: can I write a love poem?
Not for anyone else but me. Would that be narcissistic even when devoid of love? I want to tell myself I’m happy and mean it. As opposed to feeling a sense of guilt. It’s like the words I speak are a blasphemous prayer to a god who must be overwhelmed.
If thunderstorms are temper tantrums, then a natural disaster is god having a mental breakdown. And it seems he’s having a lot lately. In fact, I think I should write about it. Find some similarities between the rain and me. Maybe then, I’ll feel this connection to god that has been a stranger. Being a poet is my way of reaching out to a forgotten friend.
But it’s not all bad. Through all the world’s ills, the most important thing I’ve done was love my poetry again.
For a while, I hated seeing my voice written on the page. Becoming so addicted to editing, I never wanted to show my poetry. And to think, I wouldn’t have created this blog or published my poetry book, had I allowed myself to continue falling down that long spiral to absolute nowhere.
If you ask me? I’d say poetry has been therapeutic.
And sometimes, I actually mean it when I say it. What I think poetry has become is a diary. I have a secret that I’m afraid to say. So poetry is how I express the words I cannot speak. This way, I can take something complex and simplify it. Make the unexplainable understandable.
Poetry is a language that is learned through the heart.
It’s not something to be read, but felt. A cry for help through humor or a comedy born of tragedy– poetry is only limited to how open the poet chooses to be. And from this, I’ve discovered my secret.
How I hate that poetry isn’t intended for the poet. Once it’s read, the words are no longer mine. Poetry is the heart and the poet is the body, poked and prodded. You focus on the poetry and forget the poet exists.
However, it’s not your fault. We’re taught to be careless. And in carelessness breads arrogance. We want to see ourselves in everything. Even in what doesn’t belong to us. Poetry is always taken from its owner. This is how a poet can understand the meanings of words that seem similar.
For example, the difference between a refugee and a wanderer is dependent upon two questions: why they left and where they’re going. That is to say, a poet finds inspiration from being lost or searching for something. Either way, the journey isn’t easy.
Of course, no one cares of a poet’s dedication to the craft. We uncover love through suffering– not all of which is our own. This is how we know that love requires sacrifice. We allow ourselves to be wounded in order to reveal the pain that needs healing.
And fear is born this way. When writing poetry, we know it must end. It’s like we write to obtain a sense of immortality. This way, we’ll be remembered even after the poem is finished.
I ask you: what’s wrong with being scrap paper? Or why does poetry have to be read for poets to be respected?
Since you value a good poem, we’ll fictionalize anything. Create ourselves as the protagonists we want you to love. Even if it’s at the expense of our own character.
For me, I’ve found power in scrap paper. It’s why I aspired to be a poet ever since I picked up a pencil. Writing is the closest I’ve felt to being immortal. I’m able to create anything I want from nothing. Tell my story using my own words in however way I want to use them. Instead of writing poetry, I’m able to embody it.
But the world isn’t as liberating.
Sometimes, I ask what’s the point of having scrap paper? A pencil running out of led is useless. And this is my fear.
Instead of an ending, I become afraid of not finishing. What happens to the poem if it’s stopped mid-sentence? Does someone continue where I left off? Is it possible to understand intent when it’s not fully written?
All I desire is to hold no meaning. I’m a radical in my thinking. Wanting to live in a world where worth isn’t depended upon anything outside myself. The more I write, I realize how selfish I really am. I hate how we define poetry: that it cannot be a poem if no one can decipher its meaning.
I’ve allowed myself to be limited. For too long, I’ve settled with being a pretty phrase in a poem. Someone else is telling me who I am. This is no way to live– a poet trapped in someone else’s poetry.
Why do I need to be defined? Instead of poetry, I want to be scrap paper. There’s limitless possibilities of what I can write in the white spaces. Finally, I can write a love poem and actually like it. Not because of the words, but simply because I wrote it.
So yes, poetry is revolutionary.
When I say I love myself, I want to