In case you didn’t know, April is also known as National Poetry Month. We can celebrate the work of past literary power houses and we can recognize the contemporary work of up and coming big names in poetry. We can even try writing some original poetry ourselves. You may not love poetry or writing, but I strongly encourage you to try it out at least once.
I’ve been writing poems since I was in middle school and I’ve definitely found it to be absolutely liberating. When I’m upset, confused, excited, or feeling any other heightened emotion, I can sit down and write a poem to release everything I’m feeling. After getting some words down on paper, I feel so much better. I feel less anxious and emotional. Most of the times, I can even think more clearly about the situation, increasing my rationality… it always helps to think logically! But, most of all, I think it’s important to realize the value in a poem. Poems aren’t meant to be watered down to appeal to the masses, giving you fame and fortune. When you write a poem and finish it, you should be happy with it and you should be relieved to have gotten that off of your chest. If you “finish” a poem and you don’t feel refreshed, then you’re not done writing. Some of the poems I write I’m really proud of. I’ve even shared a few with you all. Those poems are the ones that are a perfect balance of expressing myself, while still giving the reader something as well. On the other hand, probably no one else will see many of the poems I write. They are extremely personal and may even be rant-like. Those poems serve only the purpose of allowing me to vent.
I truly believe that anybody can write an honest, touching, and valuable poem if they truly want to. If you have enough emotion to put it down on paper, then it can happen. It probably won’t be perfect the first time you write it… there are very few poems that I’m happy with that haven’t gone through revisions. Many poets have even taken years to write a single poem, but like I said before, if the final product satisfies you, then it was worth it.
I have a friend who used to always ask me for advice. She always felt very troubled with her thoughts and her emotions. There were many unresolved issues that she could never vocalize, which caused her even more pain. My suggestion to her was to write in a journal. On some pages, she wrote letters. On other pages, she just wrote what she was thinking. On a few pages, she wrote poems. After she tried this out, she told me how much better she felt. She explained to me that the simple act of writing what she felt brought her a great amount of peace after the fact. Now, she has a journal where she writes whenever she feels the need to.
I’m not saying that writing poetry is easy and I am definitely not saying that writing what you feel is the solution to your problems. It is mentally exhausting to articulate what you feel during a time where your emotions are so intense. You might cry. You might get mad. You might feel pain. It’s just another step in the process. What I’m saying is that writing has helped me and I know that it has helped others. Maybe it can help you. So take April, National Poetry Month, as an opportunity to experiment with your writing. Try expressing yourself through written words and see how you feel. If not, take this month to read some classic poetry. Maybe you’ll discover a poem or poet that you truly love, admire, and relate to.
To all my poetry fanatics, Happy National Poetry Month!