After deciding that I wanted to post more then just poetry and fiction on my blog here I opened a new blog post on my wordpress app–and then I froze. What did I actually want to write about that I haven’t already said or done though one of my poems? It’s an odd thought, at first blush, that maybe I find it easier to speak my mind though poetry. But when I considered it further it started to make more since. And what I found as I thought about this deeper both encouraged me, and disturbed me.
The good news first, poetry can hold, and express complex thoughts that words and sentences cannot. That’s always something I think people who don’t focus a lot on this medium have a hard time understanding; how a few words can sometimes be more meaningful and informative then a twenty page paper with properly cited sources and well researched topics. It’s a strange art that can stretch meaning beyond it’s normal boundaries. using the same limited everyday language that people struggle to use to express themselves, we can express almost every emotion and experience within the range of humanity, those we understand, and many that we don’t understand. There are simply a lot of things that I would not be able to say or explain without the use of poetry.
But upon reflecting on my poetry more, a darker thought occurred to me. Many times I hide behind my poetry as well. We live in a world where people get killed over posts on social media. I won’t go into detail on that since some of the specifics are far sadder and more tragic then I want to get bogged down with on this post. But as social media shapes more and more of our understanding of other people beyond their actual lived experience it’s simply easier to hide behind my art. Art and poetry are still protected and given more leniency form some of the toxic arguments and debates that can brake out on social media nowadays. I can still express how I feel about something without the pain of paying the social price of holding any given opinion. And maybe that’s not a good thing….
There is another way to look at this too–many times I write from other peoples perspective, I imagine that I’m someone I’m not and write from their perspective. This seems to give me more empathy then I would normally have towards people of different political persuasions then myself.
Perhaps all of this just means that there is no one superior way to think, to write, or to express one’s self. My poetry and my tendencies as a poet gives me strengths, but it also gives me weaknesses as well. And maybe the next step of my growth as a poet is to acknowledge this.
But that’s just my thoughts….