I haven’t written poetry in months. Probably somewhere near half a year at this point. For me that’s like an eternity.
Poetry used to be one of my most expressive forms of communication. I used to write so much that it became necessary to start dividing the pieces into separate collections. As of yet, most of those collections haven’t been finished to the point which I would like.
Yet what I miss most isn’t writing a poem per se, but what writing a poem allowed me to do. It allowed me to write something that could be left set in stone. It did not need to be researched, backed up, sourced, or set up as the solution to or for an argument. A poem could exist in and of itself; its value existed simply because it did.
In many ways writing poetry is easier because it allows me to just write, and look for patterns and meaning in what I write after I write it. I don’t need to start with a central thought and build out an argument around it. In many ways, it’s the same dynamic as I enjoy with blogging.
Poetry is so powerful precisely because of its ambiguous nature. The amorphous power that resides in a poem, terse or epic, is innate to its nature as a piece of writing that is purposely enigmatic. Every syllable could mean something—or it might not. Regardless of what your high school English teacher might have forced on your thought process, poetry isn’t about finding the “right meaning” that’s hidden between the words. It’s about finding the right meaning for you, something which could be very different from the meaning for the person sitting next to you.
This is what I miss most about writing poetry. Its sprightly chirping of words that could mean something, or nothing—words that could have been carefully chosen, or words that were just thrown onto a page and never wiped off. In the end, it’s irrelevant. Poetry is about the search, not the find; that’s why it intrigues me so much. I will have to write more in the coming months.