I give homage to poetry

April is National Poetry Month. It was first introduced in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry.

What is poetry? I’ll start with what I believe it to be. Poetry is an expression of feelings and ideas being born through language. Something that is created from nothing to gain a body in form, rhyme and meaning. How we shape this body is limited only to what you are limited too. Poetry can reach out and bring you into it’s bosom, but poetry begins and ends with you.

If I read a book and it makes my body so cold no fire ever can warm me, I know that is poetry
-Emily Dickinson

Poetry is what makes me laugh or cry or yawn, what makes my toenails twinkle, what makes me want to do this or that or nothing.
-Dylan Thomas

Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.
-T.S. Eliot

I write poetry, but I would not call myself a poet. What I do is only spew out words that have been built up inside and are released in a fairly coherent form. To be considered a poet, I need to first give homage to those great poets before me. Emily Dickinson was a copious private poet, whose large collection of poems weren’t discovered until after her death. Dylan Thomas was a poet and writer, with a deep and striking voice that is known almost as much as his work. T.S. Eliot was arguably the most important English language poet of the 20th century. There are so many others and I am a little spec of dust under the shoes of these giants, but at least I know it and don’t profess myself to be something I’m not.

This site says there are 51 types of poetry! I am familiar with a handful of them, but some of them don’t even seem like real words much less a form of poetry. Shouldn’t a poet know these forms, or at least be familiar with most of them before calling themselves a poet? I guess you could be a master haikuist (not a real word, but maybe it should be) and never embrace another type of poetry. Maybe it is excessive to have that many forms anyway, more isn’t necessarily better.

How about what makes a poem good or bad? Now this is definitely up for debate. For me, I guess this would be similar to what I said about art in a previous post, that it needs to move me emotional and/or intellectually. I also need to have some understanding of what the poet is writing about, even if I put my own interpretation on it.

Well, I think this is about enough of my ramblings on poetry. Would love to hear your thoughts and opinions or even share a poem you like or wrote.

If you are interested at all, here are a few poems I have written:
Love like the Ocean, Hallelujah, Words spill from my eyes

Someone who is much more skilled and poetic then me, here are two of my favorite poems: Sweat and Resuscitated

I will end the post with a poem by Pablo Neruda

If You Forget Me

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

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About Inner Love

I want: Passion. Desire. To create Cosmos. I want: Expression. Depth. Meaning. I want: Joy. Laughter. Love. I want: Life. View all posts by Inner Love

22 responses to “I give homage to poetry

  • slamdunk

    I am not familiar with Neruda’s work, but this selection is excellent.

    • Suzanne

      There were so many great poets to choose from! Actually I don’t read very much poetry but my favorites are Neruda and Rumi.

  • April: Poetry Month « and yes I said yes I will Yes

    […] April 2010 by dedalus9 Apparently, April is national poetry month. I may be starting a bit late, but here goes: an effort to publish […]

  • dedalus9

    Neruda’s amazing. “Moves me” is probably the right criteria for a ‘good’ poem. It is vague enough to account for the varied ways you might respond to a poem, but also specific enough to discount the trite, cliched, clunky poem. Certainly I’ve written many of those. Mostly those.

    I’d say, a good poem haunts you. You probably feel something when you first hear/read it. But that something nestles inside you and settles. It whispers to you when you have stopped thinking on it. Then one day it moves, and a world is reawakened – an emotion, an idea, an epiphany, a feeling. A good poem stays.

  • fashion_nerd

    I love your poems, especially “Words Spill From My Eyes”.

    I would have to agree with dedalus – a good poem is one that stays with you, touches your core and forever resides within your soul once you have read it. You don’t just read a good poem. You experience it, because to me, poetry speaks to the truth of human emotions and feelings. It’s a universal language that we all understand, because most of us have felt that way at one time or another, even if we didn’t have the words to describe the feeling at the time.

    • Suzanne

      That drawing/poem piece, I drew the eye first, then was inspired to add some words to it. I’m debating about doing an oil or charcoal of it.

      You and dedalus speak truth when you say a good poem stays with the person.

  • Seshadri

    Excellent piece of writing. Sometimes the spontaneous outburst of emotions/words bring us the poet inside us. spontaneity works better sometimes compared to well thought, planned piece of writing.

    • Suzanne

      Thank you! For me, poetry is usually spontaneous and while I will edit and revise everything that I write, it will keep the form and feeling of when it was initially written. It is in free form, but on the other hand, if I had to choose a certain style and be restricted to it, then I’m sure my poetic skill level would not be high enough to let others read it without many, many revisions first.

  • Seshadri

    I wrote 2 poems, I wrote 1 during a flight transit and the other one at a starbucks location last summer.

    • Suzanne

      A poem can be a great way to release pent up emotions or even muse over life in general. That’s what so great about it; it can morph into anything you need or want it to be.

  • SendeUpWords

    Suzanne, I am curious…Am I a poet?

  • SendeUpWords

    Or an Artist? Be Inspired Today! Best, Sender

    • Suzanne

      Now we are getting into semantics, but my definition of an Artist is someone who has skill in creating something, such as music, words, paintings, dance, etc. So the answer would be both.

  • SenderUpWords

    I assure you I wasn’t trying to begin a semantics argument – Naturally you know that I am questioning a lot right now – Hence the reason I asked. Thanks for your kind words 😉 Be Inspired Today!

  • SenderUpWords

    I agree – Thanks for reading. I really do enjoy your blog. I found the next piece I am going to use…alas, it shall be a surprise. Have a great night. SDM

  • katiras

    WOW! I love Pablo Neruda. I’ve read his work and this one is truly beautiful…

    You say you are not a poet because you don’t “know all the different types of poetry”, I have to disagree. I am a musician (classically trained) I’d like to play the solo to “the devil went down to Georgia” but realize that because I am “trained” differently I might not do it as well as a country genre musician. That in itself doesn’t make me less of a musician, I am still able to touch hearts, souls, minds and provoke them to think and experience new ideas through my music. The same principle applies to you– you have inspire my mind to experience new feelings with your description of the “rainbow” on your poem “Love like the ocean”. So, thank you dear poet.

    • Suzanne

      Neruda is amazing, I think I will have to pull him off the shelve and peruse more of his poetry.

      I don’t listen to country, but I like “The devil went down to Georgia,” and it is probably so much fun to play!

      Thank you for your comment about my poem, I’m glad you enjoyed reading it and was inspired by it.

  • Vagabond Lit

    Fabulous read!

  • 2010 in review « A blossom in the snow

    […] I give homage to poetry April 2010 20 comments 4 […]

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