Writing poetry takes courage and a dash of craziness (and how is that good for you, as a writer)

cummings

Confronting blank page takes courage? It might sound silly to many, but if you are a writer, especially a poet, you probably know what I mean:

It takes courage to spend time with yourself and dig deep, to the darkest and scariest parts of yourself and let them shine through your poems.

Only very few are brave enough to go somewhere place quiet, shut down the noise of the outer world and start listen to themselves; to hear who they truly are, and with open heart receive what ever they encounter. All experiences full of disappointments, grief, hurts, desires and happiness live and expand in each of these verses that we can read in the poems of those brave enough to write about their feelings. And they give us opportunity to live them also.

It takes courage to accept who you are and be honest about it.

Poetry is so personal on the one hand and universal on the other, that you simply can’t fake it. In every poem, your writing is like stripping your soul to the bare bones, where you become even more vulnerable. But that doesn’t make you anything more weak – that brevity adds up to your uniqueness that world is hungry for.

It takes courage to write, despite all the negative connotation that majority of people hold against poetry and simply not to care.

Some people simply don’t like poetry. There maybe many reasons for that. But also, there are not very supportive of those who does enjoy writing poetry. And it takes courage to continue to write and share our thoughts, no matter the impressions. I love what Jesse Graves, an assistant professor of English at East Tennessee State University said on the topic in this article:

For me, poetry expresses more about what it is like to be alive in the world today than any other art form. For a poem to work, it needs to address matters of the heart and of the head in almost equal measure. Since there is no interference between the reader and the text, poetry can deal with emotions in an intellectual way, and deal with abstractions in a way that evokes feelings.

It does take courage to try writing poems, especially if you are going to share them with others. Students also have to be willing to enter an unknown territory, even if I give them an assignment to write about, or a form, like a sonnet, they still have to find their own way into the subject matter. There is no real blueprint for how to write a poem..

It takes courage to write poetry and constantly juggle between loving and hating your own writing.

There are days when writing for you is like breathing – that without it you simply couldn’t live. But there are also days when you are unsatisfied with anything you write and you simply need a break. And that’s completely O.K. Actually that distancing yourself from writing can reignite your passion and it takes courage to do that also.

And someone might just call you crazy because you see world a bit differently: you see the joy in the heavy autumn storm, the warmth in the cold winter day or beauty in your teared bag and spilled groceries on the street. For me personally, writing poetry brings the opportunity to see and embrace life’s little imperfections in humble, and sometimes humorous way: instead of dwelling on how everything is wrong and complain – just to accept it, make the best of what I can in given situation and write a great poem about it 🙂

Poetry is everywhere, it just needs editing.

is what James Tate once said, and we are not even aware how much truth there is in those words.

All these aspects, contribute to forming one, in my opinion, a divine process that happens while you write poetry. It shapes you into a person you are supposed to be, the writer you strive to be. And for that kind of growth you do need courage – to accept your weirdness and just enjoy the ride.

It is in the small things we see it.
The child’s first step,
as awesome as an earthquake.
The first time you rode a bike,
wallowing up the sidewalk.
The first spanking when your heart
went on a journey all alone.
When they called you crybaby
or poor or fatty or crazy
and made you into an alien,
you drank their acid
and concealed it.

Later,
if you have endured a great despair,
then you did it alone,
getting a transfusion from the fire,
picking the scabs off your heart,
then wringing it out like a sock.
Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow,
you gave it a back rub
and then you covered it with a blanket
and after it had slept a while
it woke to the wings of the roses
and was transformed.

Anne Sexton


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22 Comments

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  1. I am reminded of Tyler Joseph’s (of the band twenty one pilots) song “Car Radio” – discussing life after someone has stolen his car radio:

    Sometimes quiet is violent
    I find it hard to hide it
    My pride is no longer inside
    It’s on my sleeve
    My skin will scream
    Reminding me of
    Who I killed inside my dream
    I hate this car that I’m driving
    There’s no hiding for me
    I’m forced to deal with what I feel
    There is no distraction to mask what is real
    I could pull the steering wheel
    …..
    I ponder of something terrifying
    ‘Cause this time there’s no sound to hide behind
    I find over the course of our human existence
    One thing consists of consistence
    And it’s that we’re all battling fear
    Oh dear, I don’t know if we know why we’re here
    Oh my,
    Too deep
    Please stop thinking
    I liked it better when my car had sound

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Very powerful post. This comes from one of my poetry books published when I was young.
    ” ”
    “Other people.”
    “Other men.”
    “They,” and “someone”
    And “everyone else.”
    How very simple
    To become “them”
    But my voice
    Will not allow
    Such migration
    Of my soul.”

    When my lst book of poetry was published, a local Japanese judge in the District Courts said,”She crossed over to the Haole (White) world with this book; no Japanese man will ever date her.”
    He was right in that I have never dated a Japanese man because simply, they never asked me out. Poetry scared them and made me look different and odd. Maybe I can now call this courage.
    Thank you again. And yes, I’m Japanese/American.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This post is really good I’m fifteen and I like writing poetry I feel a bit cheesy for it sometimes I guess, but I love poetry probably even more than novels and prose. I feel like it’s really important for people of my generation to continue having a passion for poetry as not many people my age do and it is kind of frowned upon but poetry is a really raw form of art that can really impact readers and yourself and with blogging sites like this I can finally find and share with other people with the same interest as me.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you, Maya! What a wonderful encourager you are, courageous heart. I very much appreciate your prompts and connection. This post is particularly uniting, inside and out, as we journey to find, return, express, create our true voices. I am a new blogger and so only have my toes wet. I feel it time to bust out into the community more, connect more deeply. This post, and and my own of today, affirm the courage and trust it is to feel, write and live our unique experiment experience of poetry. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Marie for your wonderful comment. It makes me very happy to see that my thoughts can really encourage and inspire someone in writing. It helped me personally immensely and I really want people to experience all the benefits that I gained through writing poetry. On the blog here are many posts on creativity, business skills, strategic thinking, leadership..that you can brows and maybe help you further in your writing. I’m very glad we connected this way 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love that line that you said “And someone might just call you crazy because you see world a bit differently”. I remember in high school I wrote a poem that I was rather proud of, I forget what it was about now! But I remember my English teacher writing on the paper before she gave it back, ‘I’m sorry Zoe, I don’t really ‘get’ this poem”. That was slightly crushing. So yes I think it takes a whole lot of courage to put yourself on paper and let others read it and wonder if they’re going to crumple it up and toss it or not. But I also think the most important thing is that you keep writing no matter how many times people don’t ‘get’ what you’ve written 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Loving it, hating it: the loving part is seeing your skill develops and the sheer joy of creating something wonderful enough for others to enjoy. The hate part is that the hardest form of written expression pays the least and so contributes little or nothing to the poet’s material well-being.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Maja, this is wonderful post! I love E.E. Cummings and Anne Sexton’s writings and poetry. Poetry, of course, is like a painting and is interpreted differently by each reader. It is pure emotion and philosophy. That is the beauty of poetry, it touches the heart and soul like nothing else in the world can. Karen 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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