Feelings About Poetry

Poetry is being written in large numbers, but scarcely discussed. I feel poetry is not read carefully, but literally. The flaws in the nature of reading a poetic piece turn into the general discourse that leaves the poet aside. The words are no doubt important, the essence of poetry is in the poet’s nature of artistic craft which transforms the words into important notes; just like the notes in a musical piece. 

Reading poetry is enjoyable and cumbersome too! The poetic beauty branches through a world imagined or experienced by the poet. Too often, the creative branches of poetry are shaved off and recited in a barren tone. Unfortunate, for the poet who has taken the risk of creating a narrative with artistic flair. It is a grave injustice when a piece of poetry is read like an emotionless notice that appears in a newspaper. 

Even while experimenting with various poetic styles, the very nature of poetry is stripped of the real essence with the impatient eyes. The response to a poetic piece has become mundane and generic (there is no poetic flavour in the reply to a poetic piece). The unimaginative answers do not add any further meaning but leave poetry with its fate. It’s this malefic fate that makes poetry less attractive in a creative sense, but ironically, the allure to compose one remains undiminished.

When the personal nature of poetry meets the world, it fails to adapt to the mere glances and does not evolve beyond those words. As a reader of poetry how far one can go to understand the deepest feelings of a poet? It is impossible if one does not cultivate the art of reading poetry. How many types of poetry do you read? Do you really delve into the history of literature and poetic culture?

The culture of poetry is not born of a modern phenomenon of penning down something hastily. Poetry is a vast world to explore! The way language is used in poetry is a creative ritual to chronicle history, as well as, to communicate at the social milieu to inform, entertain, and reinforce the importance of culture and rituals. Poetry has a magical effect on the busy minds- to inspire, inform, heal, and provoke latent feelings. The human spirit is revived by the art of poetry!

Of late, there is an erroneous dependency of poetry that is evident from the rushed tone. The missing spirit of poetry and poetic cadence diminish the spirit of poetic fervour. A piece of poetry will be perceived as it is presented. Let me quote Ben Jonson (English playwright, poet, and literary critic) “Language most shows a man; speak that I may see thee”.

Memories and culture cannot be trivialized, but only enhanced by the poetic language, to transform into a magical mirror to reflect on the deepest feelings. The rhythm of poetry should be drunk on the nature of feelings and the passion insane enough to pull the reader into the world created by the poet.

To understand the culture and historical event, poetry is a very potent medium. A poet will defy the world to compose poetry, with them suffering the censure of an exasperated world. Both, history and personal turmoil, are capable of transforming that poetic desire to extraordinary creativity.

The magic of poetry is perennial! It is the most enjoyable experience to read poetry and understand the world we so desperately understand, as well as, relinquish. Poetry is the bridge between the fierce opposites!

~Amitav

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11 thoughts on “Feelings About Poetry

  1. I have discovered that, unless within an academic setting, most people skim read a poem as they would any other piece of literature and, that the majority read for fun, as a form or entertainment. However, if we are talking about truly understanding a piece of poetry from there perspective of the poet, we have to read beyond the elementary and inspectional levels.

    Generally, there are four stages to reading literature this includes all art forms). The first two, mentioned above, deal with short periods of time and are leisurely approached. The other two are analytical and comparative (synthesis). In these two later approaches, time must be given to structure, word choice, use of literary devices, and biographical/cultural/geographical/historical context.

    Students of poetry usually take time to look at how a poet has written a piece. They look at each word in context of the piece overall and attempt to decipher any literary devices present as well as the overall structure of the piece in order to determine the theme and emotions therein. Some go further, and look for biographical context which is the deepest level of reading.

    Comparative reading is rarely possible in blog world where most people barely know anything about the writer. However, if there are clues (or overtly written information), a reader can draw from his//her own personal experiences as they pertain to such biographical information., thereby being able to synthesize a piece from their own comparative or contrasting perspectives.

    So, I guess, when we really look at it, it mostly comes down to time people have to read and what level they are interested in reading at.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for pointing out so many aspects of poetry and literature. Yes, this is how we can discuss and brainstorm.

      Let me start with the academic aspect of poetry, the method teaching of poetry (like memorising, and then creating a poem/poetry on a chosen prompt) there is no free will or the space to express creativity of free will); sometimes it is debated whether poetry should be part of the curriculum or not. In fact, reading fiction too is laboured and rarely the ‘four stages’ as you have mentioned, applied, much later, when one opts to study literature at college and further wants to pursue higher studies. What you have mentioned is crucial to understand poetry and literature in general, but that habit should be inculcated at an early stage.

      Reading starts with understanding the context where literary devices play a part and not in the literal meaning. Plain reading vs in-depth reading, where the reader deconstructs the plot, characters, and rhythm (whether it is poetry/prose). Even well-written prose has the cadence of poetry!
      We can enjoy comparative reading only when we know how to connect the pattern with the rich literary world; the works that have been written in so many languages down the ages. That interest can be self-motivated (individual scholar) or who has takes an academic interest and wants to earn a degree.

      Well, I think poetry is personal and also of the world. When a poet’s personal feelings are out there for the world to read, it does not remain personal and is open for interpretation, and it must be done carefully.

      I think we have so many platforms (blogging is just one of them), and we should be thankful for the opportunity to publish our work. This should be taken seriously and pursued with interest to enhance these mediums so the future generation takes a keen interest in literature (academic or not) and hopefully will inspire them to compose as well as read literature with the seriousness it deserves.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry, hit send by mistake… Poetry should be part of the curriculum and is an integral part of literature. As you aptly pointed out, much prose is akin to poetry in its flow and use of language.

        I have no issue with prompts of demand writing if the poet automatically connects to it. Likewise, I think that challenging ourselves to write in strict forms can also be beneficial in broadening our understanding of meter, rhyme, etc.

        Still, it is important that what we write is written freely and, yes, if we are to put our emotions and feelings out there, then those should be handled respectfully by readers.

        While I agree that all literature should be ingested and digested with a level of seriousness, I do appreciate that there are those who are simply not interested in looking for deeper meanings in a piece of writing. As an avid reader, there are works that have had a profound impact on me and my understanding of myself and the world around me, In contrast, there are works I have read that have had no lasting effect on me.

        However, at the end of the day. we should respect all authors for the heart and soul each one puts into a piece of writing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No problem!

        You have put it across wonderfully. I think, this is how we can exchange ideas. For writers to understand and delve into the creative world.

        In this dreary world, let literature be that medium where human aspirations and failures, reality and surrealism, and the philosophy of our existence continue to be expressed. We can always turn to literature to get more clarity and pose our questions without fear. Art and literature paves the path of intellectualism, empathy, and better understanding of human feelings.

        When this world is aspiring to become more mechanical and clinical, literature and art is that world where life starts to breathe again. We can reflect and get clarity, when the constant effort to obscure our natural feelings.

        And yes, we should respect all authors because they have taken that step to create literature that gives new meaning to life.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s all true but it matters to me more that people feel my poetry. Not everybody can understand it and that’s ok. I’d leave them to see what they do, each sth else.
    The funny part is when people feel sorry for my ‘loss’. As a writer, a lot of the things I write about is autobiographical, a lot I make up. To be honest, I can’t explain every time it’s not me. People can be too literal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To read, write, and appreciate poetry one has to start with understanding the poet. Also, the milieu! Rarely one does that. The confluence of imaginary and reality is brought about by a poet’s fertile creativity. People rarely read literature and works that are being published these days lack literary sense linguistic skills.

      Liked by 1 person

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