Writing poetry can be an intensely, deeply personal experience. For those of you that have been around the blog for a while, you probably know that there was a time where I had some of my poetry and writing posted here. Well, someone from irl found my blog and i took it all down because it freaked me out. I mean, I was on the verge of deleting this blog completely and then i realized how absolutely ridiculous that would have been and i changed my mind. But basically, that experience (and specifically the way it made me think about my poetry) has inspired me to write this post.
I know there’s a lot of people out there who love sharing their poetry, or who write about abstract, non-personal events, such as the way the river looks when it flows. I’m not really here to talk about the poems that don’t relate to us directly. I more want to talk about the poems where we open up and pour our heart and soul out into the words. I want to talk about the poems that you would DIE if your mother (or father or grandparent or teacher) ever found. The ones that rip you apart and leave you feeling wholly exposed to the world. Don’t know what i mean? Next time you’re struggling really hard, or just having an awful day, pull out a notebook and start writing. If you don’t filter yourself whatsoever, I guarantee you’ll understand.
yes, so… hopefully that sets the scene
When you are truly writing from that emotional, deep down part of yourself, odds are you’ll at least write one thing that you never, ever, want anyone else to read. (maybe i’m just crazy and nobody else feels this way… ha… ha… that would be awkward). I guess the reason I find this interesting is that most of the time, our other writings are designed to be shared– narratives, stories, memoirs, science writing– the reason the written word even exists is to permanently transcribe our thoughts, feelings, scientific facts, and pass them down so that other people can benefit from them. eternally. Like, that’s the whole point. And if i could write a novel that i knew for a fact hundreds of people would read, i would be beyond happy. Honestly, if even 30 people read a novel I wrote, it would make my year.
but with poetry, all of that is so different.
if even 10 people read the poetry which I wrote, especially the poetry i’ve written in the past ~2 years, i think i would have to crawl under a table and never come out again. I would certainly never be able to look at the people who had read it. But the thing is, I have no issue sharing myself completely with anonymous people on the internet. In fact, i’ve joined groups such as scribophile just to get my poetry critiqued. I write under a pseudonym, and somehow that makes all the difference.
Yet even though I personally would never want to share my poetry with anyone, i LOVE reading other people’s poetry. it makes me feel some type of way that I just can’t replicate by reading novels, or even true stories about emotional things. poetry is just… special.
that’s probably why when i was younger, I hated it. Reading the most popular poems by the most popular poets never entertained me. I left feeling unsated (apparently that’s not a word but i like the way it sounds so we’re going with it). It was only when I ventured into the deep dark world of FICTIONPRESS and WATTPAD (those were the says) that I found poetry that truly resonated with me. Now, I can read works by famous poets and enjoy them, but I think it’s only after having the experience of truly loving a piece of poetry that you can truly love it as a whole.
Now that I’m this far, I don’t know what the point of this piece is. I guess, as I’m looking at the cacophony of attempted packing that is the dorm room where i spent the last 8 months, I’m feeling more sentimental than usual. And as I throw out countless notebooks filled with scribbles (and about fifty million of the same flower which has graced my notebooks since middle school) I’ve read over some poetry that i wrote this year, and I frikkin love it.
normally, if I wrote something that i love that much, i’d just publish it online somewhere for y’all to see and give feedback. But with poetry, I’m scared. I’m scared about opening myself up that much, scared of what people will think if they see the thoughts that have formed in my head well enough to get down on paper. I’m terrified. And so because of that, my poems will likely stay in that notebook for all eternity, never to be read by another living soul.
anyways. I’m sorry for a less than stellar post this lovely friday. But please still tune in next week! The book blogger award winners are going to be announced!!
what is your opinion on writing poetry? Would you share it with others? Do you enjoy reading it?
Can a man poet write a poem that would express the feelings of a woman as if it was written by a woman?
Trust me, you’re definitely not crazy or the only one who feels that way about poetry! I loved writing them when I was little, but it wasn’t until I was a teen to truly appreciate it as an art form. (I remember my mom signing me up for a public speaking class in high school, and one of our assignments was to pick a poem or short story and recite it. Terrifying, right?! I picked Walt Whitman’s On The Beach at Night.)
Recently I’ve started writing them again, and find that I’m still afraid and struggle with being vulnerable, like you said. Reading other people’s poetry is such a delight to me, especially if they’re being raw and exposing deep feelings you thought no one else understood. That’s the beauty of it, whether you choose to share your poetry with others or keep it for yourself. 🙂 The important thing is to keep writing!
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oh I love that poem what a good choice!!! It’s good to hear that other people feel the same way as me, and thanks for the encouragement 🙂 keep writing!
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THIS POST SPEAKS TO ME SO MUCH!! I have never truly related to a post so much. Poetry is such a deep part of me, something that makes me so vulnerable when I share it. I rarely do share poems, only with one of my closest freinds, “But with poetry, I’m scared. I’m scared about opening myself up that much, scared of what people will think if they see the thoughts that have formed in my head well enough to get down on paper. I’m terrified” YES SAME!!! I love reading other people’s poetry, but sharing mine is just so sacry and I don’t know if I could ever share some of my personal ones.
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wow i’m actually so glad that someone else feels the same way hahaha… i’m glad you like that line especially 🙂
also hopefully eventually we’ll both feel confident enough to share what we write!
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