I am a Poet.
This is not a secret, It is not something that I am ashamed to admit. In fact poetry is as synonymous with me as drinking tea or breathing. The first thing people always ask you, when you tell them this, usually sounds a little something like this,
“well poetry is nice a ‘hobby’ it’s not like you can make any ‘real’ money from that can you?”
The answer is both yes and No. Indeed being a poet is not glamorous, it is unlikely that it will make you a millionaire, if you are lucky, you can create a rather nice reputation for yourself and become relatively known, but wealthy it is unlikely. To make money from poetry as an art form, takes a certain level of creativity. You have to be able to think outside the box and find ways to bring your work out, even to those who say that poetry is incredibly boring.
“So if you’re not going to be rich and if poetry is hard to market, why would you invest your time in writing it?”
The answer is simply passion. I love words, I like to write. I enjoy the feeling of expressing a thought or emotion In a coherent form that others can read. I like to know that I can help put a smile on someone’s face with my words, more importantly, I feel that I am fulfilling my responsibility as a citizen on this planet by holding a candle to the social issues of our times and challenging others to really examine what is most important.
I write because I am an introvert and written language is much more natural fit for me than speaking. I write for the delicious way words seem to roll of my tongue, for the staccato rhythm of supercilious extravagance that can bring such meaning to an emotion like sadness, or joy or gratitude. Truth be told most of the world’s most iconic writers did not receive their accolades until after they were gone but their words immortalised them and we still find our inspiration within these cherished thoughts.
Historians will study history in its entirety, writers will simply take candid snapshots of one moment in time and elaborate it, often times out of proportion. We won’t just write about the events leading up to the civil war, we will tell you about the depth of the wound on a man’s thigh, at 3:56 pm on a Sunday morning, what colour the wound was, how much blood was coursing out of his body and how he felt like the lost city of Atlantis , succumbing to it’s watery fate. We take everyday moments and infuse them with the extraordinary. For the poet the sun becomes a catapulting fusion of passionate infernal emotion. A rainy day, becomes the tears of God, and love becomes the convoluted essence of fulfilment.
I write because It is the first thing that I think about when I open my eyes And poetry is the last thing that seems to seep into my mind before I sleep. It is a deeply rooted hunger that never seems to stop churning. I write because every day brings something new into my hand, The wind feels different, I will notice a crack on the apartment wall that I did not see before, I will see leaf float down from the tree that has a definitive angle.
I write because some days my heart is so heavy, I feel as if I will simply tarry under the weight of it all. My mind can feel as if it is utterly spilling over but above all I write because of all the things I could do and all the places I could be, writing has become the companion that is most dear to me, it is the gift God gave me and Not to write, to spend a moment away from this craft is deny my soul, the oxygen that it needs.
I am a Poet.
This is the only explanation I will ever make.
I no longer apologize for it.
In the words of of my one of my favorite poets,
“Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow. “