“What does poetry mean to you?”
That’s a tough question. @trucklife-family tagged me earlier in a post posing this quandary.
Honestly I haven’t given it much thought over all these years.
My poetry journey started as an assignment in seventh grade language arts class. It was my first year at a public school and hormones were invading my poor body. My first poems were probably about the girl I crushed on so hard in that language arts class but I can’t remember exactly which was my first poem.
I do remember that this is my first published poem:
“All the honor, all the glory,
What would they say
If they heard what really goes on?
Would they laugh or mock or cry,
At what their hero does?
Or would they pat him on the back and say,
What he was doing was right,
But doing it was wrong,
When others are counting on him to be there.
He’s off somewhere else,
Doing his thing,
When others are in the cold,
Waiting on him.
But hey, let’s rationalize,
It was right,
But what it was, was wrong,
When there’s something more important
To be done,
His family is waiting.
But family is not important,
When there is work to be done,
His family waits in the dark
For him to come home,
And he does,
But not exactly.
When he’s there, he’s not,
When he’s gone,
No one sees,
No one knows him,
It’s been too long now,
But he goes about singing
His song oh how,
Why can’t he only change his own?”
I remember distinctly the night I wrote that. My relationship with my dad was a little better than my older siblings had, but it was still strained. He had missed picking me up from a scout meeting, and my Scout master took it out on me. Perhaps they were both jerks, but my dad made a better poem subject. He was heavily involved in local politics, and if I remember correctly he was at a meeting that Monday night.
My teacher enjoyed the poem and submitted it for publication in some obscure youth poetry compilation. I still have a copy somewhere.
After that, poetry became an outlet for all emotions, good and bad. At one point I even picked up a guitar and wrote full songs. Mostly to impress girls (unsuccessfully).
Once I got married and became a father life got too busy and poetry got pushed aside. Now that I think about it, everything got pushed aside. It wasn’t until I stayed home with the kids on the side of a New Mexico mountain that I started writing again.
Then life went to absolute hell. Poetry became an escape, a way to get through misery and subtly tell the world what was happening without saying exactly what was happening. One can’t call out an abusive narcissist directly after all…
Times have improved for me, which is bittersweet for my poetry writing. It’s nice to not be miserable, but my poetic mind seems to be fed by negative feelings, thoughts, and events. Hive and particularly the Blockchain Poets community has kept me going with the weekly prompts, I hope to keep participating as long as this place ia still around.
I love creating in many mediums, but poetry has a special place for me. It’s the one medium that I get to freely play with words and built a world as obvious or mysterious as I want. It also allows me to impact people and perhaps help them in their own difficulties. I don’t think I’m great at writing poetry, but even my mediocrity seems to touch others.
Check them out and then answer the question yourself!
Thanks for reading!
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