Have you ever read poetry for the sake of just reading it and not because someone told you that you had to? Most of my experience with poetry is that of English literary classes in high school and university. The teachers and professors had us read the poems and then they told us what the poem was about and what she should learn from it. This style of teaching always left me with a bad taste in my mouth regarding poetry. I didn’t like someone telling me what I was supposed to get from the poem, I wanted to have my own experience with it. It’s the same with music, movies, and novels.
As the years have gone by and I have my a personal study of songs and lyrics, I have learned one very important lesson about poetry as a result. It doesn’t matter what other people think the meaning of the poem is, all that really matters is what you get from it. I read a great line from a musician that I admire and it was that once songs are created, they no longer belong to the artist; they belong to the world. Songs, like poems, take on a life of their own once they are written down.
There’s a lot of great poetry in our world that has been mostly forgotten about. Poetry to me is the highest form of expression and something that I struggle to create on my own. I know all the literary tricks you can use to create a good poem but I lack the discipline to make it happen. Poetry would be the last thing I would ever share publically because to me, it’s incredibly personal. I don’t write poetry for others, I write it for me. I suppose that if I were to write a poem for someone else, I would share it with them and hope that they understand the barest of its meaning to me.
We all have a language of our own that means something to only us. Words carry weight to us depending on our experience with them. Take the most complicated word in the English language, love. This word inspires all of the emotions that we are capable of. It’s a simple word but it carries so much meaning behind it. Other words like lust, hate, and fear can all be associated with it but love transcends all of them for that deeper meaning of connection between people. We all know what love means to us and yet all of us have a different opinion on what that meaning is.
There’s a poet on Instagram that I follow named Atticus. He writes simple poems, often about love. The medium of Instagram is good for short poems like the ones he writes. If you read them as a long collection, you might see a longer story of love, loss, and redemption. Each poem is a little snapshot of life in a single post. There’s no real need to make a longer discussion about each one since it is just a snippet of emotion, here now, gone in a flash. He uses not only words to convey emotion but also font and photography.
I have grown a special appreciation for the use of font in visual style for language.
Even if it is the difference between bold and italic:
The difference in fonts creates a different feel of expressions. Bold is harder and stands out while italic is softer and subtle. These are just two examples of font but there are hundreds of different fonts out there and each of them has its own emotion or meaning to express.
I am in the process of finding new poetry to read and contemplate. If you have any suggestions for poems or poets that you should like to share with me, I would love to read them. Please comment with your favorites.