Why Poetry?

The reason i love writing poetry is because it is so much more contemplative than other creative pursuits.

So, whereas with drawing or sculpture for example, the whole process is about activity, and continually making another mark here, or another incision there, until the work is complete . . . with poetry, the process of creation is often the exact opposite.

It is about thinking. Feeling. Becoming lost in our own internal world.

And then, even as the poem starts to form - everything is taking place in the head, or the heart - until the very last moment, when the time comes to put the words on paper.

This, to me, is beautiful.

I love that poetry taps into this kind of secret world inside of us.

And, this is not to say that it is always a passive, or sedentary, pursuit. Because, while stillness or meditation obviously does facilitate great poetry - so does running, or travelling, or walking for miles and miles.

So, really, the only key is that we are doing something that allows us to listen to our inner voice.

Then, the poetry seems to come quite naturally. And, actually, it doesn't even matter if we can write it down or not.

Look at someone like Homer. The greatest poet of all.

If the stories about him are true - he was blind. And living in a society where the ability to write was considered a rare skill.

Yet, through the sheer beauty of his mind, and the depth of his soul - he composed the greatest epics of all time. Speaking and singing them, rather than writing.

And, to this day; with every new dawn, which rises fresh and rosy fingered . . . his words are still echoing around us.

This brings us to another distinguishing feature of poetry too. It's remarkable flexibility, as an art form.

Again, let us compare it with a painting - or any other work of visual art.

These things are, of course, very beautiful to behold; if one has eyes to see them.

Just like music is beautiful, if we have ears to hear.

But, in essence, these art forms are heavily limited by their original form - meaning that it becomes much harder to enjoy a painting without looking at it, or to appreciate a piece of music without actually hearing it.

Whereas, as we have already seen, poetry is versatile.

It can be seen - written down.

Or heard - through public reading, or via song.

It can be rythmic - or conversational.

It can be of epic length - or just a few lines.

It can be educational - or emotional - or enlightening - or political.

And, throughout the course of it's life, it can take on all of these things - and more - while still remaining just as powerful, and just as pure, as when it first appeared in the poet's mind. (As long as all future performers show it enough respect).

So, you see, great poetry has that rare ability to reach just about anyone; with it's beautiful combination of emotion, wisdom, and expression.

It is like philosophy, storytelling, music and art - all rolled into one. With the kind of indescribable depth that only a human heart is fortunate enough to possess.

And this is why the title of "poet" has been so prized throughout recorded history; with everyone from modern rock stars to ancient emperors keen to be known for their "poetry".

Although, if we are to start judging whether they are worthy of this title or not . . . i would have to say the same as i do when speaking of my own writings.

It is all a matter of individual perspective.

My poem, entitled "Perfection". . . written in mirror script.

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