Monday, October 17, 2005

What it all means

I sometimes wonder what goes through a writer's head when they write, and I wonder why they write the way they do. In case anyone ever wondered that about me, here's my story.

Poetry expresses an emotion, occurrence, dream, thought, moment, wish, fantasy, idea or ideal. For me, poetry (and verse, and all that other fun stuff) becomes an avenue of escape from the mundane and predictable to the surreal, improbable, and even impossible. The beauty of poetry exists in the interpretation; the ten different ideas or thoughts that ten different people can get from the same few lines. Poetry can open doors to places no one ever knew existed. It unlocks something within us, draws on our own references to pull us into that moment or into our own moment. Verse can produce anger, tears, reflection, derision, interest, fascination, infatuation, love, hate, denial, guilt, and boredom, among host of other emotions. Poetry is fluid and takes the shape of the readers mind; I like it that way. My idea when I write a verse may be totally different than the reader’s idea when they read it. And it should be that way. Readers can interpret lines differently based on their sex, experience, background, age, time of day, etc. What makes sense to some is gibberish to others. What touches some angers others. What bores one, may inspire another. Poetry takes words, assembled in a unique package of lines, stanzas and structures, and opens window. That window can become an opportunity to unleash a wellspring of feelings or images. The words are free to assume whatever forms the writer and the reader chooses; the only limitation is imagination. For me, poetry expresses much in a short amount of time. A few simple lines can contain the same story as a novel, condensed, leaving the reader to fill in the details. It requires a willingness by the reader to fill in those blanks, to complete the poem so that it is only for them. Unlike a novel, there is no beginning or end, just possibilities. Sure, you can point at the first word and the last word and say it starts here and ends here, but someone else may disagree and say the beginning was long before the first word, and the ending is still being written. At least, that’s the way they see it from their window.

Poetry, simply stated, is nothing but a jumble of words with limitless potential, to the writer and reader alike.

It’s meaningless and meaningful, helpless and helpful, true and imagined.

Poetry is what we want it to be.

And it just, is.


Mike Ramos said...

Brilliantly stated! Music, I believe, has the same effect in the way that a listener taps into their own psyche to find meaning. Songs, after all, are just poetry put to music.

Day Dreamer said...

You're right, music, painting,'s all in the way you relate and what you bring to the table, not just what the artist brings.

writerwoman said...

an avenue of escape the way you put that. Poetry is freedom.

Sandy Carlson said...

Makes me think of Jacson Pollack, who said a painting has a life of its own; he only tried to let it come through.
Writing in Faith

qualcosa di bello said...

poetry is an escape...traveling on the words the writer & reader find something beautifully stated!