For the last four years I’ve had to study poetry as part of my English Literature lessons. For most of those years I hated it. However, more recently I’ve found a passion for it. I must admit, this didn’t happen overnight. Slowly I discovered contemporary poetry and the likes of Rupi Kaur and Samantha King. Both of these women have intensely inspired me to write very similar to them.
This year I began writing my own poetry, admittedly it’s not to a professional standard but writing poetry gives me a form of expressing myself, a voice, if you will. I treat poetry as a journal, a safe haven. I used to be obsessed with writing prose, I used to love writing my own stories that completely filled up a notebook, however, growing older, as the workload piled on in school, I lost my focus, my inspiration and gave up on a story half way through. I felt my ideas were childish and more of the same really. However, I can write a poem in five, ten minutes and then I can leave it there, gather a new idea and persue it until it’s time for the next one. Already I’ve filled over half a notebook with these scribbles of words that make sense to me, even if they don’t make sense to anyone else. These poems have been written in the middle of the night, some in the middle of the afternoon. These poems have been written in moments of despair, but other times, in moments of bliss. The poems I write are a reflection, on my day, on my life, or even on a feeling. I cling to these poems, I grip the pen and use it as my oxygen supply.
It’s not just the writing it that has helped me through difficult times, it’s also the reading of it. Similarly to forms of prose, poetry covers a variety of issues, Rupi Kaur covers issues I can relate to and Samantha King is just amazing and I can link my issues to her words that may not even be about what I’m going through. That’s the great thing about poetry, you can interpret it as you wish, even put your own spin on it, there’s so many different meanings to a poem its unreal. I’ve taken days just dissecting one poem.
I’m not alone in how I feel as according to the guardian more than 20,000 teenagers are writing poetry on the social reading website Wattpad, and of course there’s also spoken word poetry which is published in video format, mainly on the video sharing website, YouTube.
Poetry is so widely available to every age group, the power of social media definitely aids this. I can guarantee that during a quick scroll through Instagram or Twitter atleast one anonymous poem will pop up, which is fantastic and allows me to open up my mind even further.
Of course there’s still areas of poetry that I’m unsure of. Currently, I’m studying John Donne and he certainly does make me question my admiration for poetry as his writing is highly sophisticated however I know I will gain something from the experience.
Poetry has helped me through the toughest and best of times, it’s broadened my horizons and quite frankly, changed my life.