Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Soul of a Poet

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The soul of a poet = poetry of the soul.

For years I've been referred to as "a writer" but I don't believe it's an accurate title. I usually correct people and say, "I write." If I'm told, "You write well," I WILL accept that, but I deny anything that resembles an identifier of "writer."

However, I've also been referred to as "a poet." And for some reason, I've accepted that title all these years and worn it proudly. Partially because it truly defines who I am, what I am about.

My thoughts flow better in short word trails that conjure up images and feelings, sounds and scents. I take a simple thought and design it as a poem -- laying it out in such a way that words are grouped together, making a reader understand that the visuals have as much an impact as the words themselves. Is this called "poetic license"?

Yes, I've been known to write cutesie limerick poems for years, especially for a celebration or special event. But that is not the mainstay of my poetry, and I don't deem myself a poet when I write those or read them aloud. Regarding those, I prefer to accept the compliment "You're clever."

The heart of my poetry lies deep within me -- in my teen years, it was the teen angst surfacing, (similar to Janis Ian's "At Seventeen" lyrics) and as the years went on, the poems dealt with my identity, my roots, the important people in my life...and people I never knew personally but read about. For some reason, I truly absorb someone else's life and what they represent, when I read about them. Is it sensitivity, is it compassion, is it a transference of putting myself in their shoes...or simply all of the above?

The Holocaust has figured greatly in my poems, my parents -- especially my father -- has figured greatly in my poems, often tied in to those Holocaust poems, people who've left this world are given a life once again in my poems, people whom I may have met briefly, but who have left a lasting impression on me, appear in my poems.

Sure, I studied poetry in school -- primary, junior, high and university -- and I know that one can learn to write poetry. One can take courses to learn how to write poetry. One can do afternoon or evening workshops to learn how to write poetry. Or one can simply write...without learning the craft...without learning about timing and an audience. Without worrying about whether one should write free-form verse or rhyming poetry. Without worrying whether a poem will be published or not.

Yes, one can simple write....


Read Between the Lines

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