Today being the last day of April for the year, I suppose I will close National Poetry Month by failing to latch the door properly… Hello, my name is Leslie and I have fast become addicted to watching spoken word poetry on Youtube and TEDtalks. With apologies, you’re welcome. I will likely post the occasional video from here on out.
“A poet’s work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.” ~Salman Rushdie
“To be a poet is a condition, not a profession. ” ~Robert Frost
Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It’s that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that’s what the poet does. ~Allen Ginsberg
Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood. ~T.S. Eliot
I don’t create poetry, I create myself, for me my poems are a way to me. ~Edith Södergran
There is a lot of talk about the poet and of poems. Many feel alienated by its literary office clad in leather and quality ink that smells faintly of pipe tobacco; others by the thought of cats wending their way through untitled piles of sheets toward the silhouette behind lace obscured upper-story windows–locked.
I remember those first lessons of Shakespeare in school. His incredible smithing, the consistency, and yes, bask in those sonnets, but remember they are impossible to write. Junior high is such a rough lesson in manners, feel (and feel deeply) but do not touch.
I remember finding e.e. cummings. no capital letters, lines in shapes that sometimes didn’t rhyme except with itself.
My education of self and by other is a bit of a tangle, certainly clumsy and out of sequential order, but rarely without meaning. I’ve come ’round again to the formal introductions. Milton, this school term, has wooed me into a love of pre-modernist notions. He was genius within the poet’s tradition–and daring with it. His ambition, his rocking in the chair, committing lines by moonlight into the words others would write and read by daylight.
I’ve a lot to learn, but there is something I understood and still know from the earliest…it is the value to a soul that they have a means of expression. [I love the idea of programs like Project V.O.I.C.E. who help/encourage young people in finding a means.] It is of incredible import to the soul to realize the power of words and their defining. It is of immeasurable worth to another’s soul to be moved by your expression. Poetry is a powerful resource and communicator. And if you still have any doubt how it can hold such import:
Shane Koyczan’s 2013 TEDtalk: “To This Day” … for the bullied and beautiful”