Poetry gives me a voice when my heart has no words.
I don’t relate to the world the way most people do. I have Bipolar II disorder, OCD, anxiety, and depression as well as multiple chronic pain conditions. The window through which I view the world is tainted and cracked by psychological and physical limitations most people can’t fathom much less truly understand. Just like an artist might use watercolor to capture the view outside their window, I use poetry to express my relationship with the world around me and the people in it.
Poetry forges connections between people, any of whom will never meet in real life. Poetry used to be all about metaphors, exploring the human condition, and proclaiming universal truths (that is if my high school English teacher is to be believed). Now poetry is an expression of our unique human nature, told through the words of an individual in a single moment.
Sometimes the darkest parts of ourselves make the most beautiful poetry.
It’s impossible to lie to yourself when you write poetry. Poetry takes you to a place deep within yourself that you see nothing but the truth, no matter how painful or embarrassing. And that scares us.
We are taught from a very early age to fear the darkness and to run from our shadows. Everything must be goodness and light. But spend too much time in the sun and we get burned. Our eyes squint shut against the glare and we are no longer able to take in the world around us.
Writing poetry is the art of dissecting the soul. We poke and prod and pull back all the little flaps of tissue trying to figure out how it all works. What makes it tick? What give it life? As a poet, our understanding of the soul is revealed as we put words to the blank page. This cannot be done if we do not embrace our darkness.
Embracing our darkness, accepting it as an essential part of what it means to be human, and then using it as a tool for growth is at the heart of being a poet.
My words are my truth.
The word I write are my own personal truth. They are meant to be a bridge between the writer and the reader who comes to the realization that we all have shared experiences, maybe thousands of miles and many years apart, but are we are able to share in that “ah ha” moment and know that we are not alone.