Here is a confession: I am not a life long poetry lover. Funny thing, my mother is a poet and has written poetry her whole life, having a some published and even having an internationally known composer use some of her poems for art songs. But me? No, I’ve never been much of a poetry lover.
“But Trent,” you say, “you post a new poem every week on your blog! You read other people’s poems and make nice comments. Are you hypocrite, just writing and saying things for some evil purpose?”
Of course not.
I’ve said in the past that I write poetry to help me when I write prose. I think some of the best prose reads almost like poetry. Sometimes it is interesting to have metaphor, symbolism, simile, allusion, etc. in prose writing. Sometimes it’s nice to include rhythm in a story. Writing poetry helps exercise certain mental, writing muscles that can be used in other contexts.
But I also have learned to appreciate poetry for it’s own sake. In particular I enjoy reading poetry written by people I know, even if I know them just from the blogs. And I enjoy trying new ways to express myself by writing new poems. I have found that it is possible for a poem to say things that words can’t express. That is, a poem can express the inexpressible.
I think it is better to show you what I mean than try to describe it. After all , if a poem can describe the inexpressible and I have a hard time expressing what I mean, I need to turn to poetry, right? ;)
I tried an experiment on Tuesday, but I’m going to take it farther and show more examples. For Tuesday’s experiment, how do you write about a fresh love,one that dominates everything? An obsession? This isn’t my best poem, but does it work? (If you missed it, the poem I Think of You).
OK, so now I am stewing on something and the more I think about it the madder I get. It’s out of control. Sound boring? Read The Black Spiral and let me know.
I’m depressed because someone I love has died. Again, doesn’t say much. Let’s try the poem Everyone a Star.
Thinking of stars, I once wanted to describe depression, not sadness but emptiness, and of course, turned it into a love poem ;) . So, does Your Sun describe it better than just saying “I’m depressed but you can make me happy”?
Here is the same as the last but from the other point of view (most of my poems about being down, sad or depressed are from the point of view of “you” being down and I want to help). What do you think of Limboland Blues?
I picked these poems almost randomly and I may have expressed these feelings, better elsewhere, but the idea is that I never would have or could have expressed these same ideas in simple prose, they needed to be written as poems. Did you read them? Do you agree? can they be written as meaningfully in prose?
Next step – I want to write some prose examples to prove this wrong ;) I want to express it in a story.