Poetry is…

Poetry is…

I remember when I was younger and my mother would catch me singing a song most likely a Brandy or Monica song she would always say, “You singing them songs like you know what love is.” I would close my eyes and sing “Have You Ever” by Brandy and you could not tell me I wasn’t in love and then got left at the alter by my soul mate. That is exactly what poetry is to me, when I read poems I feel like I am right with the author whether its abstract or straight to the point I am there. I was first introduced to poetry very early on in life, I was a very dramatic, talkative, and rather outspoken child who loved to perform so it really didn’t come to a surprise when I was chosen to recite the poem “Still I Rise” by: Maya Angelou. I remember being so excited because I was going to recite a poem that had the word “sexy” in it (back then saying sexy was about as cool as wearing red finger nail polish).

I would go on and develop a deep love for poetry and a deep love and admiration for the late great Maya Angelou. For me poetry is the highest form of freedom of expression through language. It’s sometimes so deep and abstract that you need a class or a teacher with better insight to help you decode what the poet was trying to convey to the audience. Poetry is magic, I am always in awe by how poets take regular words and scramble them up to create masterpieces. If I would tell someone “syrupy sweet” and “a raisin in the sun” would be some of the words to help describe what a “dream deferred” some would suggest that I was using the wrong words and we would all know how terribly wrong they would be. Poetry is so diverse and unique that I personally don’t think a person can be a bad poet, you might not be person who can get up on stage and recite a poem but if you know words then I don’t think there are bad poets.

Poetry makes me smile on the inside (no, I don’t walk around wearing all black smoking cigarettes thinking I’m fake deep) but I do love and appreciate a good poem. I remember I was in this faze & I slightly still am of wanting to read others views on love. I know people love a good novel with relationships and all that jazz, but have you ever read a love poem? I can read a poem about love and be so moved you would think I was about to get married. Last year (no not like 5 days ago) but some time ago last year I stumbled upon this love poem and I read it everyday for like a month. The last two paragraphs in the poem get me every single time.

XVII (I do not love you…)

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

-Pablo Neruda

You might read this poem and say “oh please its not all that” but for me it was soooo beautiful it made my heart smile. The words Neruda used are not complex but simple and so soft and soothing. When I first read the poem it was by sheer accident I had never heard of Pablo Neruda but read this one poem and because I am obsessive I had to read more of his poems. I used his poem as an example because he is from Chile and our lives couldn’t be more different. But with poetry I felt deeply connected to his words, and that’s why I love poetry its not bound by race, nationality, beliefs or all the complex things that divide us as humans, poetry just is, you take it and breathe it in or you don’t. Poetry is not even asking for you to come to an agreement on its meaning, its just asking that you take the time and accept it as is. Poets don’t get a lot of attention from my generation but when I hear or read a good poem it stays with me for a longgggg time. Don’t be surprised if you come to my wedding and Pablo’s poems are being recited by my husband to be lol.