So, it’s no secret that a relationship with poetry, especially one between writer and poetry, is often a complicated thing. I’ve spoken with classmates who hate poetry at all times, who love it at all times, who read it vehemently and cannot write it to save their lives, who write it constantly but can never sit down and read any, and who only turn to the stanza when something in life is troubling them. Writers, as a rule of thumb, tend to have a not so simple relationship with poetry. Now, whether that’s because of the often highly emotional and sensitive nature of the content poetry is usually about, or some inner mechanism incompatibility between the writer’s brain and the rhythmic consistency of poetry, I’m not here to debate. What I’m here to touch on is my personal relationship with poetry.
Of the above described architypes, I fall into more than one category. I’m the “write it constantly but can’t sit down and read it”, the “love it at all times”, and the “only turns to the stanza when something is troubling me”, to name a few. Frankly, my falling into multiple conflicting categories should come as no surprise to anyone who’s known me for any length of time. What may surprise some people, however, is the fact that I can’t just write poetry. As in, I cannot simply sit down and write a poem. I can brainstorm hundreds of ideas, but if my brain isn’t in this specific mood that I cannot even comprehend, not so much as a single line will come to me.
Now, as elusive and unexplainable as that headspace may be, I’ve noticed some things about it. I have a playlist that can help me slip into it a little easier. There’s a difference in the way my brain works when I’m thinking that way, like normal thinking is sign language, and poetry thinking is flawlessly spoken words; they’re both thinking, but poetry thinking is so much more smooth and fluid. I can never think anything small in poetry thought, I’m always thinking about something grand. Even trying to write about something as simple as nature, I create this existential plot about the creation of humanity.
And it’s this line of thinking, in all it’s wonders and splendor, that makes my relationship with poetry so estranged. As I put it in a short story, “It was a terrifying wonder to behold, as most wonderous things were.” I love being in that headspace, but it scares me. It’s so different, and it’s so much. I can never stay away from it, and I can never get to close to it. It’s quite the conflicting balance to walk.
I want to know, though, what’s your relationship with poetry? Do you have any idea when I’m talking about when I say “poetry thinking”? I’m curious. But, still, I’m also done. Until next time, everyone!
Sincerely, someone who’s chasing and running from his poetry mind.