Many people have commended me about my articles, my poems and the way how I write them. One friend of mine asked me to help him write a poem for his girlfriend, and to be honest with you, I didn’t know what to teach him. I wasn’t being selfish, I just really didn’t know what to tell him, or where to start. Eventually I taught him the basics of poetry that I learned from my high school teacher in English class. The rhymes, the syllables, the stanzas, the imagery and the figurative language. He ended up writing his own poetry, but I know there was something lacking in what I had advised him. It was textbook definitions that bore me in literature class. It was the box we were told to put our norms in writing a shakespearean sonnet.
We were made to believe that the beauty of poetry resides in the rhymes at the end of each word, and the counted syllabic patterns each line contained. We were graded for our poetry back then. The more we followed, the higher the probability of our score would be.
But every writer knows it is beyond that.
If you’d ask me to recite all of the five elements of poetry, I wouldn’t be able to give you all of the five and their definitions.
All I know is, this is how you should write.
Be you and the rest will follow.
This quote may seem to be overused by writers who didn’t want to share their talents in writing, but “be you” is all that it takes to write a good poem.
We are art. Our thoughts, our feelings, our emotions, our experience are all poetry, but we tend to overlook it.
Even our sorrows, our problems and sadness are poetry in disguise.
Be you, and write about anything and everything you could ever think of. Turn your thoughts into words, your imagination into animation, and that is poetry.
If you had ever watched Dead Poets Society, Mr. John Keating beautifully explained what I am trying to point out here.
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”
There’s no supposed pattern or format to follow to be able to write a good poem. Just look at the great poets who have walked this earth like E.E Cummings, Emily Dickinson and Edgar Allan Poe, who wrote their poetry in a unique style. Free-versed, and sometimes just jumbled letters and words in the case of E.E Cummings. But they all had something in common,
They wrote about their life, their experience, their problems, their depression, their fear of death, and their feelings.
There’s a girl in my class who wrote me a note, telling she was intimidated by me and my writing. She told me I wrote more beautiful things than her, but I didn’t believed that.
Every writing, poetry, essay and even stories are all beautiful in some sort. They are a reflection of the author’s life, and there is no measuring tool to scale which poem is bad, and which poem is good.
So next time you write, be yourself. I remember I was stuck in a writers block, because I was afraid of the things ahead of me. I was pretending to be someone else, and maybe that’s why writers get stuck in that block, because they’re afraid of their true power.
There’s no other way to write than just being yourself.
(Except if you’re writing a thesis paper or any academic paper! Follow the format for god sake, don’t risk trying to put metaphors in there. You might repeat your research one class.)