When I mention the word poetry, what comes to mind? For many, Shakespeare, English Lit or boring pop-up instantly. Well, these words do not have to be associated with poetry.
What Is Poetry?
Poetry can be fun, innovative and expressive; and for me this is what it is. Personally, I would call myself a poet – since I do participate in the action of writing words on a page and creating different ways to convey messages and express them to an audience.
It is a creative outlet that you can share, so that the message of your choice can really stick in the minds of your audience through literary techniques such as metaphors, alliteration, pauses, rhythm and rhyme. Poetry has no required length or format meaning every poem is like a new painting to complete. You are an artist.
The Experiences of Poetry
Poetry is a way of claiming words and making it yours. It can turn things that are intangible into things that you now can understand. For example, what I find so beneficial about writing poems is that I am able to express feelings that I could not give names to. I can consciously identify the issues before me with poetry, so then I can minimise its effect in my reality.
Poetry, I would say, is best written when you are upset, angry or insecure because you are able to perpetuate these powerful feelings onto your work and create something beautiful out of something that was initially deemed negative.
I, no doubt, believe that once you have finished your poem (you will know when it feels complete or not) that you will feel a sense of accomplishment. It requires a lot of thinking and even more focus and you should be proud of your creation. A poem that you create can almost symbolise the tough period you went through and allow you to wear it like a medal rather than appear as a stain. It is a great way to boost confidence, expand your vocabulary and improve your performance skills.
Sharing your work is not essential but recommended. Poetry can be private and intimate, It can be done whenever and wherever. Your audience could range from just being yourself, to your family and friends or maybe even strangers. Each step requires more courage to undertake.
I will encourage anyone who is interested in performing their poetry and requires a safe comfortable space to do so, should attend Poetic Unity events. Every Wednesday in Brixton, organised by Ragz-CV, a lyrical genius but also a remarkable advocate for how poetry can be used to be extremely expressive and therapeutic.
If you attentively read this, you will realise that I have used poetic techniques throughout this article to have hopefully kept your attention to the very end such as storytelling, similes, analogies, rule of three, expressive and conversational language, rhetorical questions, short sentences and more.
Additionally, One of my favourite Artists considered himself a poet and expressed his poems through the various lyrics from each of his songs. I am talking about the infamous Tupac Amaru Shakur – having inspired me throughout my teenage years with his rhymes and rhymes, this man has been able to show poets that music is a tangible method to express your words and having the ability to integrate a message within a song is something which Tupac did actively throughout many of his albums like ‘All Eyez On Me’ and ‘Me Against The World’. Tupac is a true inspiration for poets to follow if they want to express their poems to a greater audience.
Regardless, poetry is a way for individuals to have the ability to express their thoughts and feelings. If you are reading this, I encourage you to scribble up a poem, maybe even a Haiku (a really short poem) – to see how you feel. You may find you enjoy the feeling of acting an author of your own craft.