I May Not be a Poet, but I Appreciate My Own Poetry

Quoted

 

I think that no matter how long we strive toward something, no matter how long we travel or toil for our dreams… there is always a nagging pain in the underbelly, wondering if we are good enough. Depending on the strength of our hearts, we may react in two ways. For those who listen to the uncertainty, they drift away and lose sight of their dreams. They give up and never really know what could have been. Then, there are others, perhaps just as equally uncertain, but there is a fire in their belly that just refuses to give in or give up. They believe in themselves despite also feeling uncertain.

 

I don’t know if I am different or if I am more alike others who have struggled before me, alongside me, or even those who will struggle after me. I sometimes think we are more alike than we ever are truly willing to admit, but most won’t share the heart of themselves so it is difficult to see. People fear showing their vulnerable side – their weakness, their fears. They fear it says something about themselves or perhaps that it is going to be portrayed in a negative light.

 

For me, I have scars. I have wounds. I have differences that crawl upon my skin – but I feel that what defines me most, is that no matter what happens, I know there is strength in pulling myself back up and trying again. There is a curious thing I say often about myself, and it is incredibly true… if you say I cannot do something it will most likely be the first thing I do. I will do it – I will do it well and I will ring circles around you too. See, I’m stubborn. I would like to think that is a good thing. It has definitely allowed me to survive and to also grow into the person I am. I also know it isn’t an attitude that you always need to have. Sometimes life is much easier living with someone who always meekly nods their heads in agreement. There are times I might regret it, but I just don’t see that person in me and I’d like to think I have benefited from this attitude.

 

So I wear my heart upon my sleeve. It is so close to the surface, you can see its pulse. I lay those feelings out there for everyone to see. It’s just the way I am. I don’t like to hide and if I did, I would truly not know how. This is me – in my photography, in my writing, in each and every poem. Though the subjects may not always be personal, I always try to imagine myself in someone else’s skin. What would I do? What would I feel? It is a place that I find curious and amazing. I want to see with more than my own eyes – I want to feel, I want to hear, and I want to live life soaking in all the moments, the stories, the images, the art, the scent of beauty that passes before me every passing day. If I see a flower in a field, I wonder – what is it thinking, how does the summer sun feel upon its face, how does it feel when dew trickles across its skin.

 

I guess you could say I am curious. I never seemed to learn the adage “curiosity killed the cat” even though I have been told that more than my share of times. It is not that often, though – that I find others wearing the same skin. Fortunately, I have found a few out there, who chase similar interests in similar ways only to also sing in the most amazingly different methods. I think this is what we should celebrate – our translation of whatever it is that we do – not always the method, the methodology, nor the form.

 

This brings me to something important that I thought I’d share with you. I somehow only recently became aware that many poets do not think free verse poetry is even poetry at all, but prose – neatly typed in smaller lines so as to “pose” as poetry. To me, there is a huge difference between prose and what I do, but I guess everyone is open to their opinion. It’s not like a heated argument is going to solve anything anyway – and I really tire of having to defend the things that I do to anyone. If they don’t like it, that’s okay. Life is not a popularity contest.

 

I know I am unconventional in the way that I do things – whether it be in the topics I choose to write about, how I choose to write, or the form of the poem. I’m okay with that – really. It has taken a long time to develop the heart of who I am and what I do. I did not start out this way, of this you can be certain. However, over time I really have become comfortable with all of it. I guess I have become so comfortable that I never did realize that others did not feel the same about my poetry. To them, if it does not rhyme… it is not a poem. If it does not have structure… it is just a mess of prose upon the page. Seemingly, it does not take much talent to do what I do.

 

At first, that hurt. I started to wonder why I bothered to write at all. I wondered if I should ever even consider trying to be published, since most publishers feel that my type of poetry is not poetic at all. But then I thought about all those poets that came before me. Even those forms that many celebrate today as “true poetry” at one point were given birth. Perhaps they were not what people expected, perhaps people did not like the sound of the lines or the rhythm – but it started somewhere. It took time and perseverance on behalf of those who believed in their work to keep it alive. It is only because of those two things and a lot of hard work that we even have the opportunity to celebrate those methods today.

 

Do I think that what I do is not poetry? No, not at all. I started out with rhyming poetry and I could do it at any moment, if I so choose – but I don’t want to. It is not to say that rhyming poetry is not beautiful, nor to say that it is not poetry (how awkward would that be?) – but this is not the voice I choose to speak with. When I write, I don’t have to worry about other aspects of a structural poem so that I can focus on what I want to say and how I want to say it. Does this mean my poetry has no form or structure? Absolutely not. I do not write in any one particular style, but allow the poem to dictate what it wants to say and how. Sometimes my style changes. What does not change, however – is how it rolls off the tongue when spoken. There is a cadence there, if you search for it – and there are times when I will edit or change a poem in order to fix the way the poem flounces across the page. It is not something I can teach – nor is it something that I can detail, but I know it is there because I am always cognizant of that when I try to write.

 

I think the biggest lesson that we should learn as people – is not to delineate the beauty of something only by our limited knowledge and preferences. When we do, we truly lessen the amount of beauty we are willing and able to see. For me, I celebrate all types of poetry – no matter how they are written, nor in what style. I acknowledge the beauty of the written word and hope that I make the writers aware that I celebrate them too. There is something special about being able to see what is there – without being encumbered by your own prejudice. In this day and age – we need more of that, in all realms of life, not just poetry.

 

So yes, I am unconventional. I use lenses that I should not use to take pictures. I have yet to read my camera manual, but I won’t let that stop me from trying to capture the beauty that I witness. I love that I have the opportunity to share that with you and anyone else who stops on by. My greatest enjoyment comes from experimentation, learning by hand and growing as a person and an artist. I don’t always take conventional views – worrying about proper positioning, nor do I worry about pristine, cleaned up images or photo shopped captures of beauty. I don’t mind it being messy, different, or real. I instead prefer to seek the beauty that is already there – waiting to be noticed.

 

My poetry eases my heart in difficulty, allows me to ruminate over difficulties, touch upon the plight of others so that I may understand them better and helps me understand myself in my own humanness. There is a rhyme and a reason for each and every word – and each and every line. There is a melodic quality to it that I cannot explain, nor can I explain why it is written that way. The poem begs to be written and the words just sing.

 

So yeah, I know I may have opened up a can of worms – or perhaps someone opened them and passed them to me. Either way, I know what I want to be when I grow up and I am not going to allow anyone to stop me. I put my heart and my soul into every line of poetry I share and I don’t want that – or the way I speak to change. If people don’t consider that poetry… that is fine. I will continue to be the way I am and they can continue to be the way they are. Not everything has to be done a certain way and we’ve had plenty of examples in our own history to know that doing things differently can sometimes be a blessing and a gift.

 

So if anyone else ever doubts themselves or hears the negative words of others about the artistry they seek – no matter whether it is about poetry, painting, writing, or just being yourself – know that there is never only one right way to do things. And sometimes, being lost, helps you find a better way. From the beginning of time until now we have celebrated those who had a different voice and a different view. Don’t set your dreams aside just because someone told you that you could not do it or you do not do it well. Keep trying – keep striving – and never give up on your dreams. They may never lead you to the spotlight and perhaps you will never receive recognition – but the saddest song is sung when your heart wants to sing your own melody, but instead you follow in everyone else’s song.

 

© Sumyanna 2017

Written as “real” prose.

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20 Comments Add yours

  1. 7128788elf says:

    You are not alone in this fear, or in starting off writing rhymed poetry. I ran a series of creative writing causes at the various libraries that I worked in, and i soon realised that many of the people who attended had this fear that they were not good enough, and that my part in getting them going was to provide a space where they could write, and come to terms with their fear, this did not take long, soon they grew in stature ands produced wonderful work, then it was time to start another group. I think every one has their own special subject, and their own frame of consciousness, and their own way of deciding what style to use for the particular poem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sumyanna says:

      So very true – and I think our subject and our form evolves over time. A long time ago, I only wrote poetry about myself but then I decided I didn’t want to always stretch to find something to write about. I always wanted a reservoir of ideas available. That’s when I started the Portrait’s Poetry Series. This way I could step into character and write from their view or as if I am watching the scene unfold before me. I think it is a good thing that we keep listening to ourselves…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 7128788elf says:

        Hi Sumyanna, sorry I have taken so long to reply, but my computer broke down over the weekend, and my fix it friend Randal has just brought it back this evening. Most of my poems are reactions to things that I have seen or heard. I often write, when on the edge of sleep, as this seems to get the best flow, sound and symbolism into the poem, so I let structure look after its self. Perhaps I aught to broaden out a bid as well, but am enjoyhing what I am doing for the moment.

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  2. Eclectic Joy says:

    Not all poetry suits all people, I find free verse a lot easier to read and to hear in my head, it touches me differently. I find it easier to say what I feel and it finds things in me that I didn’t know were there. You write beautifully, thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sumyanna says:

      See… that’s what I think too. For me, it reads to me as if the poet is reading the poem and I am listening. Thank you so very much and I’m glad you enjoyed the write. It is never easy – for someone is always willing to say there is a better way. Not all ways fit all people though 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. leigha66 says:

    I love your poetry and yes it IS poetry. Poetry takes many forms. There will always be doubters… but we don’t have to listen to the negative things they say. Keep on writing the way your muse moves you to! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sumyanna says:

      Thank you sweet Leigha. I doubted myself for a few moments, but then I picked myself up and started fighting. I guess I see that in writing this post. I have to take a stand for what I believe in. It probably was not an easy task raising me 🙂 I truly enjoy the beauty of all types of poems. I have tried different types, but the place I feel more at home is when I am free to express exactly what I want to express without any limits. I shall keep writing – and thank you for being the flame in my fire 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. leigha66 says:

        You are most welcome Sumyanna. I look forward to seeing many more poems from you!

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  4. That was beautiful Sumyanna. It’s true of you and of me. I write poetry as a form of expression. My expression. Often it humbles me that others enjoy it, but I would write it anyway and in free verse. I want the words to speak for themselves not worry about lines, numbers or anything else. So Count me in, in your corner lovely one, because I truly am! What you write is often over and above anything I’ve seen in print. Beautiful, poetic and with great heart, warmth and a freshness of spirit and mind with a depth that one can only “awe” at. Love you Sumyanna. Love who you are, how you write, what you say. It’s an appendage of you. Beautiful in every way. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sumyanna says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely comments Phyllis. Yes, I think you and I are rather untraditional. It’s just the way we breathe – and that’s okay with me 🙂 I felt down for a moment – I was rather surprised when I was told that free verse poetry is not poetry at all. What the google? It was a shock. I have seriously loved all forms of writing, but I was equally grateful that I found it comfortable where my poetry was. I had to take a step back and evaluate their words along with re-evaluating myself. I guess that’s what prompted this post. I was trying to stand up for myself. I tried writing for days and just could not – my heart was not in it. I knew I had to say something. When I finally did – the clouds passed. I get that way sometimes, when things truly matter to me. I found that I cherish my own voice more than those who refuse to find value in mine. I think it is a good thing – we all need a dose of self esteem 🙂 Thank you ever so much for your love and support. It means the world to me.

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      1. Keep doing what your doing Sumyanna because your poetry and stories are brilliant, spoken from the heart. Free verse IS a style and IS accepted. Goggle is behind the times. I had mentioned to SarahDohty that I didn’t know what my style was, it was just me and from the heart. She explained it’s free verse that doesn’t adhere to “rules” and is widely becoming very acceptable and sought after. In fact, there’s a gentleman that comes to my site just to download my poetry for that reason. I haven’t seen him for a few days or I’d pass on his name. I guess there are problems with my site since the view have fallen off drastically. Perhaps people don’t recognize me or can’t find me, but at least I have you and a few faithful readers. Your support means worlds to me too. I think you should cherish what you say, because everything you say has meaning depth is something others can learn from and humourous as well as your pictures are SPECTACULAR. So, don’t let ANY nay-sayers tell you otherwise. I’m thrilled you have self esteem and believe in yourself and what your doing. That’s the most important thing of all. Plus your viewers obviously love what you write and return so that tells the story right there. Your not alone. 🙂 I love love love your writing. I can’t get enough of it. I haven’t visited regularly because I can’t find you unless you comment on something. I’m having difficulties with my site still. Mores the pity. xoxo

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        1. Sumyanna says:

          I will respond a bit later to all of it 🙂 but I wanted to say that I have a friend who moved to her own WordPress site. All of a sudden, things that once worked no longer did. For example, she wrote for The Daily Prompt. It no longer shared her as a link even though she connected to them properly. Also, whenever anyone comments on her posts (and yours as well) even if they say to be notified if you comment, we receive no comments at all. If either of you link to someone – it never sends a notification. For me, that is one reason why I won’t move to my own site. I don’t know what I’ll do when I run out of space for the images! It has been hard, because I have some friends that have moved on their own sites as you did – and I don’t get to keep in contact with them and their thoughts. Fortunately for your site – I at least use the RSS to know when you post new things. I have not been around as much lately as last week we laid hardwood floors and installed shelves in the basement. Phew! Talk about a lot of work. Now, I’m cleaning up after the messes we made 🙂

          I don’t think anyone has lost any interest in you. Perhaps some people, like myself, did receive notices in their RSS that the pages weren’t working (like your story) and figured you left the blogging world. Keep at it, hopefully they will show up. If your new site is working for you, keep at it – but if the cons are more than the pluses, it might be something to think about. Hugs!

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          1. Thanks Sumyanna. I figure it will come. The site needs more revisions and that’s my son’s department as I have no idea how to fix issues. He has 3 days off so hopefully he’ll have an opportunity to take a look.

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          2. Sumyanna says:

            I can’t wait for things to run more smoothly for you. I’m still behind on reading the story, but I won’t allow myself to get ahead! I hope you are doing well!

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          3. I am doing well, thank you for asking. I hope you are too. Your poetry is so beautiful and I look forward to more.

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          4. Sumyanna says:

            We are doing well. I have so much work to do! We finished laying hardwood floors in my bedroom. All the windows upstairs have been waiting for me to choose curtains and rods. Now, I have to hang them. We bought all new shelves from Ikea… so today I am busy putting all these things together 🙂 We have not upgraded things in the house for a while so it was well overdue. Since the kids are getting older, we can try to get nicer things (when younger, they would spill, break, tear…). I am excited but also tired of looking at the unopened boxes. It’s a lot of putting together 🙂 Thank you so much for your sweet comments. Once I get settled (and have less boxes to unpack and put together, I am going to sit down with a nice cup of tea and read some more of your story. I’m still excited to learn what happens next.

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          5. Awe, thank you Sumyanna. I feel your pain about staring at boxes. You’ll be thrilled no doubt when it’s all done and you have something fresh to enjoy. I know I do. My son is currently painting his bedroom an (and the only word to describe it is) inviting gray. It’s simply gorgeous. I’m not a gray person usually, but wow, it pops. It’s going to be fabulous when it’s finished. I can already see it. And I so agree about waiting until kids can appreciate and value things more. Otherwise it’s an exercise in futility. 🙂

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  5. This is very brave what you did here. And for the record, you are a poet! Conventional or not, you are a fellow artist just like the rest of us and have an appreciation for the literary arts just as much as the next poet. Be you and do you, plus originality as a poet is key anyways. Keep writing and continue to put your work out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sumyanna says:

      Thank you ever so much. It is not easy… but I felt I had to say something. For days I tried to write and just could not find it in my heart to do so. I knew I needed to take a stand for what I believe in… or else, perhaps I truly did not believe in it. That gave birth to this post. I appreciate your support of both me and my poetry. It truly means a lot. It is never easy – sharing yourself out there for the world to see. It is a blessing to be able to believe in ourselves enough to share. For all the bloggers I pass by – I find it truly brave.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your very welcome and I couldn’t agree more with what you just stated about poets.

        Liked by 1 person

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